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Citizens: A Chronicle of the French…

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

by Simon Schama

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,406273,918 (4.05)115
  1. 00
    Murder in Aubagne: Lynching, Law, and Justice during the French Revolution by D.M.G. Sutherland (Luchtpint)
  2. 00
    The Guillotine and the Terror by Daniel Arasse (Luchtpint)
  3. 00
    Last Letters: Prisons and Prisoners of the French Revolution 1793-1794 by Olivier Blanc (Luchtpint)
  4. 00
    Twelve Who Ruled : The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution by R. R. Palmer (Luchtpint)
  5. 00
    Orphans on the Earth: Girondin Fugitives from the Terror, 1793-94 by Bette W. Oliver (Luchtpint)
  6. 00
    Vrijheid, gelijkheid en de broederschap van Kain en Abel: Getuigenissen en documenten over de Franse Revolutie by E.M. Janssen Perio (Luchtpint)
  7. 00
    Robespierre by Luigi Mario Pizzinelli (Luchtpint)
  8. 00
    The Terror: The Shadow of the Guillotine: France 1792-1794 by Graeme Fife (Luchtpint)
  9. 00
    The Jacobin Republic Under Fire: The Federalist Revolt in the French Revolution by Paul R. Hanson (Luchtpint)
  10. 00
    A New Dictionary of the French Revolution by Richard Ballard (Luchtpint)
  11. 00
    The Unseen Terror: The French Revolution in the Provinces by Richard Ballard (Luchtpint)
  12. 00
    Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France by Lucy Moore (PaolaF)
  13. 00
    The Sans-Culottes by Albert Soboul (asukamaxwell)
  14. 11
    The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture In the Golden Age by Simon Schama (John_Vaughan)
  15. 00
    Godfather of the Revolution: The Life of Philippe Egalite, Duc d'Orleans by Tom Ambrose (Luchtpint)
  16. 00
    The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France by David Andress (Luchtpint)
  17. 00
    The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life by David Lawday (Luchtpint)
  18. 00
    Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution by Ruth Scurr (Luchtpint)
  19. 01
    Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Hugo's work is largely fictional; Schama presents a fascinating historical and cultural history of the French revolution.
  20. 02
    Echoes of the Marseillaise: Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution by E. J. Hobsbawm (Ronoc)

(see all 20 recommendations)


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» See also 115 mentions

English (25)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
ספר ענק - אבל יותר במובן הפיזי מאשר במובן המטה פיזי. למעשה ספר כמעט אינסופי, לקח לי יותר משנה לסיים אותו , כאשר באותו זמן אני מסיים ספרים רבים אחרים. הבעיה של הספר זה לא רק האורך שלו, אם כי הו תורם לבעיה, כי אם הגישה האנקדותית שלו. לשמה יש תאוריה שהוא רוצה להוכיח, אבל בשביל להוכיח אותה הוא מספר אינסוף אנקדותות על אינסוף אנשים שאת שמם שכחת כבר לפני חודשים. אין בספר מבט על ואין בו שום מפה לאן הכל הולך. זה אולי ספר היסטוריה עבור אנשים שמכירים את ההיסטוריה בעל פה אבל לא עבור אלה שרוצים ללמוד ולהכיר אותה. עם זאת בתוך הג'ונגל הזה יש הרבה סיפורים מאלפים ומענגים - חבל שאין יד מרסנת. ( )
  amoskovacs | Feb 18, 2019 |
There's not a great deal to say about the actual content of this book. The French Revolution is essentially much more interesting than Schama has presented it in Citizens. The events have been retold by many historians I've read before, and without exception, they all do a much better and rousing job of it than Schama has done. I suppose I really needed to read this one at some stage, given the fact that it is supposed to be a classic in many ways, but OMG, what an awful slog it was !

Schama has this irritating knack of using arcane / obsolete styles of commenting that remind me of 19th century philosophy, personal correspondence or even poetry, the latter evidenced by his tedious inclination to construct far-fetched metaphors.

Truth of the matter is that he can't captivate a wider audience this way, and I am getting the sneaking suspicion that this wasn't his intention anyway ! The author seemed to be primarily showing off in front of his academic colleagues by making this a personal essay stuffed up to the hilt with tiresome redundancies on just about any small detail he felt the need to be nit-picking on. He pays inordinate attention to irrelevancies whilst barely mentioning pivotal events, and I can imagine if he had discarded all this dross beforehand, there wouldn't be much of a story left !

This is not exactly a narrative you want to read from start to finish, for, if anything, it certainly feels like a highly personalized pseudo-intellectual dissertation, rather than a book destined to enlighten the general public. Which explains the hyper-analyzing, the grandiose ruminations on minor issues, the forced hyperbole and the continuous sidetracking towards unnecessary complexities the average reader is not going to bother himself with.

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but Professor Schama has managed to write a boring history about one of the most dramatic events on modern history. ( )
  Luchtpint | Nov 28, 2018 |
A visceral telling of the French revolution, starting and closing with Talleyrand and Lafayette. Well-written, told at breakneck speed, and covers a wide variety of players. Schama does not go into sufficient detail on particular aspects of the revolution, but if you are looking for an overall picture of the myriad reasons and results of this tumultuous period, this is a must. ( )
  deckehoe | Nov 27, 2015 |
Wonderful "thick" story of the French Revolution, incorporating tons of historiography, images and a living account of events beyond the traditional canon. ( )
  fdhondt | Feb 23, 2015 |
Extremely readable narrative history. This has to be the definitive, 'entry-level' take on the French Revolution. I personally would have preferred more explicit references - footnotes, etc - on the areas I was especially interested in. I thought the ending of the book felt rather thrown together, but don't know enough about French history to suggest a better 'end point'. ( )
  kcshankd | Nov 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Recumbent readers beware. Those who like to do their poring lying down will scarcely rush to take up this book. It is monumental. Once hefted, however, and well balanced on lap, knee or chest, ''Citizens'' will prove hard to put down. Provocative and stylish, Simon Schama's account of the first few years of the great Revolution in France, and of the decades that led up to it, is thoughtful, informed and profoundly revisionist. Mr. Schama, who teaches history at Harvard University, has committed other large and readable tomes. But nowhere more than here does he challenge enduring prejudices with prejudices of his own. His arguments, though, are embedded in narrative. Above all, he tells a story, and he tells it well.
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, Eugen Weber (Jul 19, 1989)
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German translation has title "Der zaudernde Citoyen : Rückschritt und Fortschritt in der Französischen Revolution"; Hungarian translation has title "Polgártársak : A francia forradalom krónikája"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679726101, Paperback)

Instead of the dying Old Regime, Schama presents an ebullient country, vital and inventive, infatuated with novelty and technology--a strikingly fresh view of Louis XVI's France. A New York Times bestseller in hardcover. 200 illustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Explores the French Revolution in terms of the vitality and infatuation with technology that motivated French citizenry toward change and the conflicting, strained economics frustrating their visions for France.

» see all 4 descriptions

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