An overview of the principal problems and changes that have affected the French peasantry since 1789 examines the social, economic, and cultural evolution of the peasantry from subsistence to a commercialized capitalist farming economy.
"Moulin deserves praise for writing a history that is much more than an arid economic treatise filled with facts, figures, charts, and graphs--although the volume does contain its share of these. Economic modernization is certainly the dominant theme, but the author is equally sensitive to changes in lifestyle, sociabililty, and mentality experienced by peasants as they moved from autarchy to participation in a capitalist farming system. Moulin's treatment is unbiased and unsentimental. The translation is clear and remarkably free of jargon. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and even specialists will appreciate Moulin's succinct yet thorough introduction to this complex, fascinating subject." The Historian
Outline chronology; Introduction; 1. From the ancien régime to the Restoration 1789–1815; 2. A slow transformation: 1815–1870; 3. The difficult years: 1870–1914; 4. Towards a separate world: 1914-1950; 5. A spectacular transformation: 1950 to the present; Notes; Conclusion; Bibliography; Guide to further reading in English; Index.