The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny

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Textbook coverage of the French Revolution leaves readers with an impression of university students with starry-eyed optimism, the storming of the Bastille, and suddenly the Reign of Terror. The name of Robespierre is probably familiar, and perhaps that of Danton and Marat… and did Voltaire have something to do with it? The details are probably foggy and the course of events, inexplicable. This book thoughtfully and fervidly connects those dots, filling in the gaps with vivid details. The result is an alarming, but absolutely compelling, story, told with an imperative thrust that carries the reader inexorably through the factions, philosophies, and oversized personalities that overcame the initial idealism of “Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” devolved into the Terreur, and paved the way for Napoleon and the Empire. It is a fascinating story, with long-lasting repercussions and lessons even for the present day. There is much more to the French Revolution than just the guillotine and the profligate Marie Antoinette or the overthrow of the Ancien Régime and the aristocracy, although all of these are part. Readers will be riveted and will find themselves caught up in the turmoil, violence, and chaos that defined these few short years.


Reviewed By:

Author Ian Davidson
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Pegasus Books
Publish Date 2016-Dec-06
ISBN 9781681772509
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2017
Category History
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