A Concise History of the French Revolution / Edition 1

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Overview

This concise yet rich introduction to the French Revolution explores the origins, development, and eventual decline of a movement that defines France to this day. Through an accessible chronological narrative, Sylvia Neely explains the complex events, conflicting groups, and rapid changes that characterized this critical period in French history. She traces the fundamental transformations in government and society that forced the French to come up with new ways of thinking about their place in the world, ultimately leading to liberalism, conservatism, terrorism, and modern nationalism. Throughout, the author focuses on the essential political events that propelled the Revolution, at the same time deftly interweaving the intellectual, social, diplomatic, military, and cultural history of the time. Neely explains how the difficult choices made by the royal government and the revolutionaries alike not only brought on the collapse of the Old Regime but moved the nation into increasingly radical policies, to the Terror, and finally to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Written with clarity and nuance, this work offers a deeply knowledgeable understanding of the political possibilities available at any given moment in the course of the Revolution, placing them in a broad social context. All readers interested in France and revolutionary history will find this an engaging and rewarding read.
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Editorial Reviews

H-France Review
A welcome addition to the growing number of short textbook treatments of the French Revolution. Instructors offering undergraduate courses on the subject will want to consider adopting this text for the classroom. It is a serious effort to concisely summarize a complex historical event. The text presupposes no prior knowledge of the French Revolution, is written in clear, approachable prose, and is enhanced by easily readable grayscale maps, refreshingly new images, and a detailed timeline.
CHOICE
Neely combines in one slim volume a clear narrative history with analysis and a few judicious forays into the thickets of revolutionary historiography. An invaluable resource—a good basic text for a survey course, and an outstanding text for professionals. Highly recommended.
Journal Of Social History
A thoughtful, well-written introduction to the Revolution.
Choice
Neely combines in one slim volume a clear narrative history with analysis and a few judicious forays into the thickets of revolutionary historiography. An invaluable resource—a good basic text for a survey course, and an outstanding text for professionals. Highly recommended.
Journal of Social History
A thoughtful, well-written introduction to the Revolution.
H-France
A welcome addition to the growing number of short textbook treatments of the French Revolution. Instructors offering undergraduate courses on the subject will want to consider adopting this text for the classroom. It is a serious effort to concisely summarize a complex historical event. The text presupposes no prior knowledge of the French Revolution, is written in clear, approachable prose, and is enhanced by easily readable grayscale maps, refreshingly new images, and a detailed timeline.
Barry M. Shapiro
This is an engaging and thought-provoking introduction to one of the most remarkable periods in human history. Skillfully relating her story within the context of recent scholarly debates, Sylvia Neely has furnished an account of the French Revolution that seamlessly integrates social, cultural, and intellectual forces with the play of individual personality. Her book is especially rewarding in its explication of the international geopolitical framework in which the Revolution unfolded and in its analysis of the ebb and flow of revolutionary political struggles.
Robert Bruce
This superb book is exactly what I have been looking for as a text to cover the French Revolution. The writing is engaging and the presentation of the events and people of the revolution clear and informative.
Thomas Kselman
Neely provides an excellent introduction to the French Revolution, showing how particular political choices led to reform, revolution, terror, and dictatorship. Political issues are placed in their social context, but politicians emerge as individuals forced to make difficult decisions, which led to unintended consequences that, taken together, defined the trajectory of the Revolution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742534117
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: Critical Issues in World and International History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 447,648
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Neely is associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: The Ancien Regime, Its Critics and Supporters
Chapter 2: The Financial Crisis
Chapter 3: The Estates General and the General Assembly
Chapter 4: Creating the New Regime
Chapter 5: Polarization and the Flight to Varennes
Chapter 6: The Failure of Constitutional Government
Chapter 7: The Convention
Chapter 8: Terror and War
Chapter 9: Thermidor and the Directory
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