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The Coming of the French Revolution by…
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The Coming of the French Revolution (1939)

by Georges Lefebvre

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Two revolutions in two different countries. In one, the bloodthirsty inhabitants turned to a Reign of Terror to achieve their objectives. In the other, disenfranchised shopkeepers threw off their overlords to begin a new nation. The differences between the French and American Revolutions have always intrigued me, which is why I picked up this paperback. What the heck caused the Gallic disturbance to be so...disturbing?

This really is an excellent introduction to the reasons for the French Revolution, focusing on each affected group, from king to nobles to middle class to peasants. This is not an overview of the later Reign of Terror or the beginning of the Empire, so the focus is very strong and full of details.

Still, I wonder how the future of France would have turned if there had been stronger protagonists. Danton, Robespierre, Marat, Isnard? Or Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin?

Book Season = Winter (Paris is grey) ( )
  Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
History
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
Considered a standard work in its time (I was assigned it as a text when young) though now considered perhaps too pro-revolutionary ( )
  antiquary | Sep 4, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Lefebvreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palmer, R. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
This classic work details what happened in France during the year 1789, the first year of the French Revolution. First published in 1939 for the 150th anniversary of the Revolution, the book was suppressed by the Vichy government after the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent collapse of the Third Republic. Since most copies of the original French edition were destroyed, the work remained virtually unknown until Princeton University Press published R. R. Palmer's English translation in 1947.

The great French historian Georges Lefebvre's signature contribution was writing history "from below" -- a Marxist approach -- and his particular specialty was the French Revolution as viewed from the experiences of the peasantry. Placing the "common people" at the center of his analysis, Lefebvre emphasized the class struggles within France and the significant role they played in the coming of the Revolution.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691007519, Paperback)

An in-depth portrait of France during the year 1789, which analyzes the causes, forces and nature of the Revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"This classic work details what happened in France during the year 1789, the first year of the French Revolution. First published in 1939 for the sesquicentennial of the Revolution, the book was suppressed by the Vichy government after the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent collapse of the Third Republic. Since most copies of the original French edition were destroyed, the work remained virtually unknown until Princeton University Press published R. R. Palmer's English translation in 1947. Subsequent editions were issued in 1967 and 1989. This new edition includes an introduction by Timothy Tackett that provides a short intellectual biography of Georges Lefebvre and a critical appraisal of the book after the research and reassessment of three generations of historians."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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