A People's History of the French Revolution

A People's History of the French Revolution


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A People's History of the French Revolution by Eric Hazan

A bold new history of the French Revolution from the standpoint of the peasants, workers, women and sans culottes

The assault on the Bastille, the Reign of Terror, Danton mocking his executioner, Robespierre dispensing a fearful justice, and the archetypal gadfly Marat—the events and figures of the French Revolution have exercised a hold on the historical imagination for more than 200 years. It has been a template for heroic insurrection and, to more conservative minds, a cautionary tale.

In the hands of Eric Hazan, author of The Invention of Paris, the revolution becomes a rational and pure struggle for emancipation. In this new history, the first significant account of the French Revolution in over twenty years, Hazan maintains that it fundamentally changed the Western world—for the better.

Looking at history from the bottom up, providing an account of working people and peasants, Hazan asks, how did they see their opportunities? What were they fighting for? What was the Terror and could it be justified? And how was the revolution stopped in its tracks? The People’s History of the French Revolution is a vivid retelling of events, bringing them to life with a multitude of voices. Only in this way, by understanding the desires and demands of the lower classes, can the revolutionary bloodshed and the implacable will of a man such as Robespierre be truly understood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781689844
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 631,456
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Eric Hazan is the founder of the publisher La Fabrique and the author of several books, including Notes on the Occupation and the highly acclaimed Invention of Paris. He has lived in Paris, France, all his life.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

1 How Things Stood

France under Louis XVI 13

2 Towards the Estates-General

Impending bankruptcy, the rebellion of the Parlements, provincial disturbances, elections 37

3 May to September 1789

The Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly at Versailles - the Tennis Court oath, the storming of the Bastille, the Great Fear, the night of 4 August, the Declaration of Rights 57

4 October 1789 to July 1790

The Constituent Assembly in Paris - The journées of 5 and 6 October, the clubs, administrative reorganization, the Fête de la Fédération 85

5 July 1790 to September 1791

The Nancy massacre, the flight to Varennes, the massacre on the Champ-de-Mars, repression 119

6 October 1791 to June 1792

The legislative Assembly moves towards war, the duel between Brissot and Robespierre, the first defeats 145

7 June to August 1792

The journée of 20 June, the Brunswick Manifesto, the taking of the Tuileries, the end of the monarchy, the September massacres 163

8 September 1792 to January 1793

The opening of the Convention - Valmy the proclamation of the Republic, the clash between Gironde and Montagne, the trial and execution of the king 193

9 October 1792 to June 1793

From victory to defeat, the declaration of war against England and Spain, the insurrection in the Vendée, the fall of the Gironde 217

10 June to October 1793

The federalist' uprisings, the Committee of Public Safety, the assassination of Marat, the Enragés and the popular movement, the general maximum 255

11 October to December 1793

Trial and execution of the Girondins, the Wattignies victory the end of the Vendée war, the repression 287

12 Autumn 1793

Dechristianization, the cultural revolution of year II, the Frimaire reversal 305

13 Brumaire to Germinal Year II / November 1793 to April 1794

The 'foreign-plot', the fall of the 'factions': trial and execution of the Cordeliers and Dantonists 327

14 April to July 1794

The dramas of Germinal and Thermidor 363

Epilogue: The Meaning of 9 Thermidor 411

Index 417

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