The Coming of the French Revolution: With a new preface by R.R. Palmer / Edition 1

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Overview

This classic work details what happened in France during the year 1789, the first year of the French Revolution. First published in 1939 for the sesquicentennial of the Revolution, the book was suppressed by the Vichy government after the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent collapse of the Third Republic. Since most copies of the original French edition were destroyed, the work remained virtually unknown until Princeton University Press published R. R. Palmer's English translation in 1947. This new edition includes an introduction by Timothy Tackett that provides a short intellectual biography of Georges Lefebvre and a critical appraisal of the book after the research and reassessment of three generations of historians.

In 1939, in observation of the 150th anniversary of the French Revolution, and on the eve of the Second World War, the great French historian Georges Lefebvre published this classic study of the beginnings of the French Revolution, from the summer of 1788 to October 1789. Lefebvre's signature contribution was writing history "from below"—a Marxist approach—and his particular specialty was the French Revolution as viewed from the experiences of the peasantry. Placing the "common people" at the center of his analysis, Lefebvre emphasized the class struggles within France and the significant role they played in the coming of the Revolution. With the beginning of World War II and the rise of the Vichy government in France, however, Lefebvre's book was suppressed and burned as a piece of blasphemous and revolutionary literature.

R. R. Palmer, himself a distinguished historian of the French Revolution, translated the book intoEnglish, earning it widespread readership and recognition in the Anglo-American world. Although recent historians have reinterpreted the Revolution and disputed Lefebvre's conclusions, The Coming of the French Revolution remains essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of this great turning point in the formation of the modern world. More important, as Palmer pointed out, studying the origins of the French Revolution broadens contemporary understanding of democracy, dictatorship, and revolution.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
**** A reprint of the Princeton edition of 1947 (an earlier reprint of which--Vintage Books, 1957--is endorsed by BCL3) with a new preface by the translator. Lefebvre was one of the great interpreters of the French Revolution, and thus has a place among the great historians. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691007519
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1967
  • Series: Princeton Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: Bicentennial ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Georges Lefebvre (1874-1959) was one of the major twentieth-century historians of the French Revolution. Timothy Tackett is Professor of History at University of California, Irvine. His previous books include "Becoming a Revolutionary" (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Ch. 1 The aristocracy 7
Ch. 2 The crisis of the monarchy 21
Ch. 3 The bourgeoisie 39
Ch. 4 The first victory of the bourgeoisie 49
Ch. 5 The estates-general 73
Ch. 6 The mobilization of the masses 93
Ch. 7 The Paris revolution of July 14 108
Ch. 8 The municipal revolutions in the provinces 121
Ch. 9 The peasantry 129
Ch. 10 The Agrarian revolts and the great fear 142
Ch. 11 The problem of the privileges 153
Ch. 12 The declaration of the rights of man and the citizen 167
Ch. 13 The revolutionary solution in the balance 183
Ch. 14 The popular agitation 190
Ch. 15 The October days : confirmation by violence 196
App. I Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen
App. II Other books by Georges Lefebvre
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