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Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies 3rd Edition
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Jack A. Goldstone's Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies is an extraordinary presentation of revolutionary theory and historical application. It presents both a successive, almost evolutionary evaluation of revolutionary theory as well as scholarly debates between competing theories that aids in constructive reconciliation between said theories as well as in understanding the breadth and significance of differing viewpoints. This is particularly true with the presentation of case studies which ultimately reveal the significance of certain theories, depending on the conditions specific to each revolution. However, such variations do not undermine Goldstone's work; in fact, they support one of his early assessments of structural theories.
Within the introductory essay, "The Comparative and Historical Study of Revolutions," Goldstone asserts that, since the Russian Revolution of 1917-1921, comparative studies of revolutions have gone through "three generations of scholarship: the natural histories of the 1920s and 1930s, the general theories of political violence of the 1960s and 1970s, and the structural theories of the 1970s and 1980s."(1) This summation is intended to explain the dominant trends of scholarship and it succeeds in providing a framework of consideration that the rest of Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies may be evaluated from.
Goldstone explains that the natural history of revolutions was an overarching attempt to understand common patterns between major Western revolutions up to that time.Read more ›