The Old Regime and the French Revolution

Overview

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) is familiar to readers as the author of Democracy in America, the most-quoted book written about the United States. The Old Regime and the Revolution is Tocqueville's great meditation on the origins and meanings of the French Revolution. One of the most profound and influential studies of this pivotal event, it remains a relevant and stimulating discussion of the problem of preserving individual and political freedom in the modern world. Writing in 1851, Tocqueville showed the ...
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The Old Regime and the French Revolution

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Overview

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) is familiar to readers as the author of Democracy in America, the most-quoted book written about the United States. The Old Regime and the Revolution is Tocqueville's great meditation on the origins and meanings of the French Revolution. One of the most profound and influential studies of this pivotal event, it remains a relevant and stimulating discussion of the problem of preserving individual and political freedom in the modern world. Writing in 1851, Tocqueville showed the continuity of French political behavior and social attitudes before and after the Revolution. He discussed the dangers to political freedom posed by tendencies towards government centralization and persistent class hostility that endured from the old regime to the Revolution and beyond.

Alan Kahan's new translation finally provides a faithful and readable rendering in English of Tocqueville's last masterpiece, surpassing existing English editions of the work which are now decades old. The first translation to be based on the forthcoming French critical edition, it includes notes and variants, which reveal Tocqueville's sources as well as new material from his drafts and revisions. The reader will also find a new introduction and other discussions by France's most eminent scholars on Tocqueville and the French Revolution, Françoise Mélonio and the late François Furet.

A major scholarly event, this handsomely produced book will be the definitive English edition of one of the great books in modern intellectual history.

François Furet (1992-1997) was the leading French historian of the Revolution and, according to the New York Times, "one of the most influential French thinkers of the post-war era." Françoise Mélonio is the editor of Gallimard's critical edition of Tocqueville's complete works.

"Françoise Furet . . . challenged the popular Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution and reshaped French thinking about subsequent events. His lifelong fascination with the French Revolution and his many books on it . . . earned him a special place among historians."-New York Times, 16 July 1997

First published in 1856, Tocqueville's examination of the French Revolution is perhaps a most important contribution to our understaning of this keystone of modern history.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a new translation of Tocqueville's last masterpiece, written in 1851. Best known as the author of Democracy in America, Tocqueville focuses here on the meaning and origin of the French Revolution. This volume is organized into three major subjects. First, it looks at the nature of the French Revolution. Second, it examines the origins of the revolution in an absolutist and aristocratic society. Finally, it considers the reasons for the sudden outbreak at the end of the 18th century. Tocqueville discusses the continuity of French political behavior in relation to persistent class hostility, government centralization, and the preservation of individual and political freedom. This book surpasses older editions of English translations because of its readability and because it is based on the French critical edition that includes the author's sources and materials from his drafts and revisions. Kahan (Florida International Univ.) is also translating the work's second volume, which is to be published in 1999 by the University of Chicago. Recommended for academic libraries.--Mary F. Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll. Lib., Wheeling
Booknews
The first English translation of the forthcoming edition of the work to be published in France by Gallimard under the direction of Francoise M<'e>lonio and Francois Furet. Tocqueville's meditation on the origins and meanings of the French Revolution has been up-dated with current English vocabulary and usage making the classic accessible to general readers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385092609
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1955
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 474,024
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Alan S. Kahan is an associate professor in the history department at Florida International University and the author of Aristocratic Liberalism and Liberalism in Nineteeth-Century Europe.
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Table of Contents


Translator's Foreword

INTRODUCTION
by François Furet and Françoise Mélonio
The Genesis of The Old Regime and the Revolution
The Structure of the Work: Book One
The Structure of the Work: Book Two
The Structure of the Work: Book Three
The Evolution of the Work
Tocqueville's Files, Manuscripts, and Proofs
Note on This Edition

Preface
BOOK ONE
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five

BOOK TWO
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve

BOOK THREE
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Appendix

Tocqueville's Notes
Notes and Variants
Glossary
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Tocqueville's treatment of the causes leading to the revolution are insightful.

    This book is a must read for anyone interested in European history. The chapters are throughly reasearched and artfully described. His explanations of the causes leading to the revolution of 1789 show the effect of decisions, but read as fresh for the political climates of the world today as if a contemporary treatment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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