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The French Revolution and Empire: The Quest for a Civic Order Paperback – January 10, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0631233633 ISBN-10: 0631233636 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (January 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631233636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631233633
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This book provides students and general readers with a history of France during the Revolution and Empire. It includes a narrative of events from the fall of the Bastille to the defeat of Napoleon, and a compelling analysis of why the revolution occurred. The book explains how the French Revolution encountered opposition not only from the privileged but also from the common people. It examines and analyzes various forms of resistance that arose when it became apparent that the hopes of 1789 could not be realized. The Terror of 1793-4 aimed to annihilate this resistance and remake human nature, but its violence and financial policies crippled successor governments and liberal institutions. Amidst a new round of war and domestic subversion, Napoleon eventually restored order but at the expense of many of the ideals of 1789.

From the Back Cover

This book provides students and general readers with a history of France during the Revolution and Empire. It includes a narrative of events from the fall of the Bastille to the defeat of Napoleon, and a compelling analysis of why the revolution occurred.

The book explains how the French Revolution encountered opposition not only from the privileged but also from the common people. It examines and analyzes various forms of resistance that arose when it became apparent that the hopes of 1789 could not be realized. The Terror of 1793–4 aimed to annihilate this resistance and remake human nature, but its violence and financial policies crippled successor governments and liberal institutions.

Amidst a new round of war and domestic subversion, Napoleon eventually restored order but at the expense of many of the ideals of 1789.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Code Rite on July 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hadn't plan to review this title, but couldn't allow previous review to go without another opinion. While Sutherland does take the historiography of some French Revolution historians to task, he does so under the premise that "you can not ignore the facts." He does present facts, well-researched facts. He looks not only at Paris, but throughout France.

His presentation assumes the reader already knows the basic facts of the Revolution, which as a new student, was somewhat problematic to me. I remember reading several pages of explanation leading up to one of the Parisian journees, then Sutherland provided a sentence to summarize what actually happened. So I Googled the event and filled in the details for myself. In spite of this, I give Sutherland high grades for research, objectivity, and looking at the French nation as a whole. His analysis of events and attribution of their causes is very compelling.
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it is remarkable that one finds in the bibliographic notes of other histories of the french revolution a consistent and unreserved praise for sutherland's account. both schama and doyle salute it, and in a literature as voluminous and politically fraught as the academic outpouring on the french revolution, any consensus is significant.

to my taste, this is a second best history after doyle's magisterial and detailed chronicle. where doyle traces the machinations and maneuvers of different factions within the monarchy, assembly, commune and localities, sutherland is happy to punctuate his less detailed account by gathering everything into a conclusion -- his conclusion -- then expand from his conclusions to a statement of what his conclusion means. while this is convenient for the reader impatient for the bottom line, it also means the reader must more or less accept sutherland's point of view. that requires either implicit faith in the author or sufficient professional knowledge to know whether interpretation is justified.

this revised edition includes a substantially altered interpretation of the pre revolutionary period and significant changes to the narrative of its early years.

ultimately, it seems everyone feels the impulse to come to a definitive conclusion about the french revolution and its consequences. i recommend doyle's history for his attention to circumstantial detail and consistent respect for the complexity of events and people and the conflicting forces that shaped them. sutherland is incredibly knowledgeable, and this book presents his knowledgeable conclusions in full, in case you would like to make them your own.
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By Jenn on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love Sutherland. He really does know his information and this takes a whole new perspective to the French Revolution. This book came in great time and was in great condition.
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Format: Paperback
I consider this my 'textbook' for the audio lecture series produced by The Modern Scholar.
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5 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sutherland's work, The French Revolution and Empire needs no further inspection beyond its front cover. The book presents standard information about the revolution, nothing in too much detail, skimming over broad spanses of time in a few pages. He is obsessed with trashing the reputation of Francois Furet, another historical researcher. There are numerous passages where he disagrees with Furet's opinions, and instead of just saying "such and such is my opinion," it is a biting indictment of Furet's views.
There are better histories of the French Revolution than this. Histories that focus on the facts of revolution, not speculation and bias to put forth the author's views that he should be an authority on the French Revolution.
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