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on July 21, 2009
This extraordinary work is more like a film scenario than a modern history. Its flashes of lightning pick out and illuminate dramatic scenes, vividly portrayed, like King Louis' doomed flight to Varennes. Carlyle famously described `the incorruptible sea-green Robespierre'.

Carlyle acknowledges, contrary to convention, "there is no period to be met with, in which the general Twenty-five Millions of France suffered less than in this period which they name Reign of Terror."

He praises the revolution as "Surely a great phenomenon: nay it is a transcendental one, overstepping all rules and experience; the crowning phenomenon of our Modern Time."
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on July 2, 2014
This is an abridged version of the three volume work by Carlyle. It has useful chronologies of the Revolution, Carlyle's life, a chart of the Bourbon dynasty, an explanation of the Revolution's calendar system, and an excellent glossary. However there are no illustrations and Carlyle's prose is not an easy read. Students of Dickens' Tale of Two Cities will find the book useful.
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on September 10, 2008
If you want to sample the smoke in your nostrils, blood on your shoes, and vengeful mob immediacy of Carlyle without all of the ponderous stuff, this abridgment is your ticket.
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on May 4, 2015
It was better than I expected
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on September 15, 2013
easy to read and follow the theme of the story from the beginning to the end. for history buffs and as a tool to the past
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on April 22, 2014
French Rev. is one of the best books on that subject in existence. Angry Birds not so much to like.
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on March 16, 2010
No one writes history like Carlyle. The force of his words and ideas can be a bit daunting; given time and perspective, they are some of the best words and ideas in all of written history.
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on October 31, 2010
I read Carlyle at an impressionable age (16 or so) and his book on the French Revolution is certainly fun to read.

Most British historians and novelists of the French Revolution have used his account: for example Charles Dickens, in the Tale of Two Cities. The wonderful Scarlet Pimpernel novels also depend largely on Carlyle's account.

But the English and the French have historically been bitter enemies and this book is a catalog of British prejudices about the Revolution:

I'm about to buy another copy of Carlyle's book, because I enjoy reading his overheated prose, but I'd recommend books by more grown-up contemporary writers, like Hillary Mantel's novel, A Place of Greater Safety, or Slavoj Zizek's interesting and fair-minded study of Robespierre and the Terror. These are two examples of thoughtful, well-informed, intellectually challenging, and historically accurate books about the French Revolution that strongly challenge Carlyle's bias.The French Revolution (Dover Value Editions)
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