A Socialist History of the French Revolution

A Socialist History of the French Revolution

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Jean Jaures was the celebrated French Socialist Party leader, assassinated in 1914 for trying to use diplomacy and industrial action to prevent the outbreak of war. Published just a few years before his death, his magisterial A Socialist History of the French Revolution has endured for over a century as one of the most influential accounts of the French Revolution ever to be published.This translation and abridgement of Jaures' original 6-volumes brings his exceptional work to an Anglophone audience for the first time. Written in the midst of his activities as leader of the Socialist Party and editor of its newspaper, L'Humanite, Jaures intended the book to serve as both a guide and an inspiration to political activity; even now it can serve to do just that. Abidor's accomplished translation and Jaures's verve, originality and willingness to criticise all players in this great drama make this a truly moving addition to the shelf of great books on the French Revolution.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 158 x 230 x 30mm | 579.99g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Abridged
  • 1st ed.
  • 0745335004
  • 9780745335001
  • 654,459

About Jean Jaures

Jean Jaures (3 September 1859 - 31 July 1914) was a French Socialist who became the leader, in 1902, of the French Socialist Party, which opposed Jules Guesde's revolutionary Socialist Party of France. The two parties merged in 1905 in the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). An antimilitarist, Jaures was assassinated at the outbreak of World War I, and remains one of the main historical figures of the French Left. Mitchell Abidor (Translator) books include anthologies of the anarchist writings of Victor Serge, on the propagandists of the deed, the Paris Commune, the left of the French Revolution, and French anarchist individualists, as well as the novella A Raskolnikov by Emmanuel Bove. He lives in Brooklyn.
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Review quote

'A classic of historical writing which laid the foundations for so many later accounts of the French Revolution. Jaures vividly depicts the drama of the Revolution, the triumphs and the setbacks, the bloodshed and the hope, but always with an eye to the future, to how the Revolution opened the way to human emancipation' -- Ian Birchall, historian and author of The Spectre of Babeuf

'Jaures' brilliant analysis is as refreshing and controversial today as it was over a century ago. It resonates with the passion and eloquence of this great political leader while at the same time sustaining a rigourous Marxist analysis of the social and economic forces behind the Revolution. Its appearance in this edition is to be warmly welcomed' -- Peter McPhee, Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne

'We can say today that every revolutionary party, every oppressed people, every oppressed working class can claim Jaures, his memory, his example, and his person, for our own' -- Leon Trotsky 'The death of a single human being can mean a great battle lost for all humanity: the murder of Jaures was one such disaster' -- Romain Rolland 'Tantalizing, rapid prose ... The lively sense of being 'inside' the Assembly or the meetings of the Paris City Council leaps from the page' -- TLS
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Table of contents

Introduction by Henry Heller

Translator's preface

1. Introduction

2. The Causes of the Revolution

3. July 14, 1789

4. National Lands

5. The Revolutionary 'Journees'

6. The Flight to Varennes

7. The Insurrection of August 10, 1792

8. The September Massacres

9. The Battle of Valmy

10. The Trial of the King

11. The Enrages Against the High Cost of Living

12. The Revolution of May 31 and June 2, 1793

13. Marat's Assassination

14. Dechristianisation

15. The Dictatorship of Public Safety and the Fight against the Factions

16. The Fall of Robespierre

17. How Should We Judge the Revolutionaries?


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Rating details

14 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 21% (3)
4 50% (7)
3 21% (3)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
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