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A Concise History of France (Cambridge Concise Histories) 2nd Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521606561
ISBN-10: 052160656X
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Editorial Reviews


'... coherent and eminently readable. It is a major - indeed unique - achievement.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'... a remarkably succinct story.' John Wright, BBC

Book Description

This book provides a clear and up-to-date guide to French history from the early middle ages to the present--from Charlemagne to Chirac. Among the book's central themes are the relationship between state and society, the impact of war and the use of political power. This second edition, substantially re-written to take account of recent research, includes a new chapter on contemporary France; a society and political system in crisis as a result of globalisation, international terrorism, racial tension and a loss of confidence in political leaders.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Concise Histories
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (August 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052160656X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521606561
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Price and Leonard Stern created Mad Libs in the 1950s and the series has been a favorite among kids of all ages ever since. Although Roger Price passed away in 1990, Leonard Stern keeps the tradition alive by writing new Mad Libs all the time.

Roger Price and Leonard Stern are both well known for their comedy writing. In the 1950s Roger Price created and developed cartoons called Droodles, which were turned into a television show. Before that Price worked with Bob Hope on a newspaper humor column, and he even appeared on Broadway in Tickets, Please!
Leonard Stern has an equally colorful and varied history. Before co-founding Price Stern Sloan with Roger Price (Sloan came later), Stern was a successful television writer. In addition to his creative involvement with over twenty television series and over ten motion pictures, Stern worked with Jackie Gleason in New York writing the Honeymooners. He also wrote for the Phil Silvers Show, The Steve Allen Show, and wrote and produced the original Get Smart television series. Recently, Stern published A Martian Wouldn't Say That, which compiled weird and wacky memos written by people in the entertainment industry. Currently, Stern serves as a senior vice president of Price Stern Sloan, where he still writes those hilarious Mad Libs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for an entertaining review of French history (as I was), this is not it. It focuses almost entirely on economic, sociological, etc., trends instead of people and events (e.g., there is a tedious amount of information about French demographics and economic activity in the 15th century, but Joan of Arc gets only one sentence). This might be a good textbook for college students who already have a solid grounding in French history, but if (like me) you are new to French history and just want to read an interesting account of what happened, you should buy some other book.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Well, after reading about England, I decided to start studying France, so I decided to buy a short concise history of it. I mean, I already knew the basic outline. However, I was dissapointed.
Good - The book gives a CONCISE history, but does not cover the prehistory and the Romans, who are not mentioned. The book starts from The Hundred Years War, to the monarchy, to the many revolutions and republics, to France's state of a world power and the colonial era, and also, the loss of troops in World War I, and the brutal occupation by Nazi Germany in World War II. It also covers the Mitterand presidency and how France tries to escape socialism and communism.
Bad - The book does not really talk about the people of France, it talks more about the economy, not the people. Mr. Price doesn't seem to grasp that the reader wants something more of how people and state are connected, not the economy. Also, where is the prehistory and the Roman invasion of Gaul? Just because it was earlier doesn't mean that it has to be skipped! I mean, it was part of France's history, then how does the reader know how and why the cities of Marseilles and Nice have kept Italian culture all these years! The book skips some things.
Okay, if you're gonna buy this, then buy another book of France along with it.
RATING - 3 stars ***
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacksonian on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A Concise History of France" by Roger Price is absolutely not a work recommended for anyone looking for a introduction to the basic outline of French History. It would make a fine companion book outlining the economic and social development of France in a classroom setting, but one would definitely want a political history outlining the historical development of France and its key figures, achievements, etc., to balance out the reading materials. The book glosses over huge portions of important aspects of, and figures in, French History with barely a mention- little less a fleshing out of their importance. Everything outside of raw economic and social development data seems to get just enough of a glancing description to push the historical narrative forward. These negative aspects of the book are very oppressive in the first chapters, but improves gradually from the French Revolution onwards to the 20th century. It is really only in chapters pertaining to the 20th century that the writing style relays information in a clear and effective manner.

This book relays huge amounts of important economic and social development facts, but it is not at all what most readers would consider a concise history of France. A concise history of any nation is no easy feat, nor is writing a comprehensive academic level work of any sort, so don't let this review give the impression that I am degrading the quality of the author's academic and writing ability; rather I am just offering a critical review of what is offered as a concise history that falls considerably short of the mark in terms to what the target audience of this book would expect. Thus, in conclusion I would recommend this book as a companion work to be read in conjunction with a political history, because only with such a combination would a reader interested in French History get the most out of this well researched, if lacking, book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Steward Guardian on January 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stars awarded, as noted by earlier reviewers, depend upon one's expectations. I agree that the book is not for those new to information-laden (academic type) history books, nor is it written to amuse. It is only exactly what is indicated on the title: A Concise History of France. And a good value, if that's what you want.
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