The Coming of the French Revolution

The Coming of the French Revolution

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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. First published in 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, and suppressed by the Vichy government, this classic work explains what happened in France in 1789, the first year of the French Revolution. Georges Lefebvre wrote history "from below"--a Marxist approach. Here, he places the peasantry at the center of his analysis, emphasizing the class struggles in France and the significant role they played in the coming of the revolution. Eloquently translated by the historian R. R. Palmer and featuring an introduction by Timothy Tackett that provides a concise intellectual biography of Lefebvre and a critical appraisal of the book, this Princeton Classics edition continues to offer fresh insights into democracy, dictatorship, and insurrection.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.27mm | 312g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised edition
  • 0691121885
  • 9780691121888
  • 812,754

Table of contents

Introduction by Timothy Tackett vii Note to the Princeton Classic Edition xxxi From the Translator's 1988 Preface xxxiii Prologue 1 PART I: THE ARISTOCRATIC REVOLUTION Chapter 1: The Aristocracy 7 Chapter 2: The Crisis of the Monarchy 21 PART II: THE BOURGEOIS REVOLUTION Chapter 3: The Bourgeoisie 39 Chapter 4: The First Victory of the Bourgeoisie 49 Chapter 5: The Estates-General 73 PART III: THE POPULAR REVOLUTION Chapter 6: The Mobilization of the Masses 93 Chapter 7: The Paris Revolution of July 14 108 Chapter 8: The Municipal Revolutions in the Provinces 121 PART IV: THE PEASANT REVOLUTION Chapter 9: The Peasantry 129 Chapter 10: The Agrarian Revolts and the Great Fear 142 PART V: THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND CITIZEN Chapter 11: The Problem of the Privileges 153 Chapter 12: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen 167 PART VI: THE OCTOBER DAYS Chapter 13: The Revolutionary Solution in the Balance 183 Chapter 14: The Popular Agitation 190 Chapter 15: The October Days: Confirmation by Violence 196 Conclusion 207 Appendix I: Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen 219 Appendix II: Other Books by Georges Lefebvre 223 Index 225
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Review quote

"Simply the best introduction to the study of the French Revolution available anywhere."--Nation "A pleasure to read... Lefebvre sets forth clearly the many causes of that insurrection and explains the influences exerted by the various classes and factions--the nobles and the clergy, on the one side, and the bourgeoisie and the peasantry on the other."--New Yorker "Much more than a history of 1789... [A] synthesis, conveying a philosophy of the Revolution as a whole, such as could be written only by a seasoned scholar."--American Historical Review
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About Georges Lefebvre

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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475 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 23% (108)
4 41% (194)
3 30% (142)
2 6% (27)
1 1% (4)
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