French Revolution, 1789-92 (Berkshire Study in European History)
Overall, I think [this book] is one of the best short histories of the Revolution to appear in many years. He is particularly successful in integrating specific case examples and quotations from the period into his general narrative and historiographic analysis and in thus conveying the drama and passion of the Revolution, so often passed over in texts of this kind.It also provides an excellent corrective to many recent "revisionist" texts, reasserting the importance of social dynamics before and during the Revolution and eshewing simplistic explanations of the Terror based solely on ideology or internal politics. Finally, I am impressed by his effective integration of a great deal of new scholarship published during the last decade, notably in his treatment of rural history and the experience of women during the Revolution.In sum, I would strongly recommend the book, and I look forward to trying it out in my own courses. (Timothy Tackett, University of California)Peter McPhee's history of the French Revolution is a real tour de force.More successfully than any other general history of the period, it combines an admirably clear narrative of this complex decade with an intelligent survey and analysis of other historians' perspectives. Beside them, McPhee sets out his own understandings of the Revolution sensibly and undogmatically so that readers can judge their merits. Beyond these strengths, the book is enriched by illuminating discussions of the effects of the Revolution on everyday lives of women and men and by a refreshing attention to rural France - the home of the great majority of French people at the time.Written in a lively and engaging way, this book cannot but draw readers more deeply into one of the most fascinating periods in world history. (Roderick Phillips, Carleton University)With an easy style and a clear purpose, Professor Peter McPhee pilots students past key questions of the origin and course, meaning and significance of the French Revolution.Touching most debates in the historiography, McPhee's history still offers a sound narrative of revolutionary events, egos and enactments, always in chapters of manageable length, always with an eye to evidence that's first-hand, fascinating and fresh.Scores of students and teachers will owe him a debt of thanks. (Adrian Jones, La Trobe University) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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