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The French Revolution: From its Origins to 1793 (Routledge Classics) Paperback – May 18, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0415253932 ISBN-10: 0415253934 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Classics
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (May 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415253934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415253932
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'This is more than a history of the French Revolution. It covers all of Europe during the revolutionary period…it also breaks new ground in its account of international relations, and sets the wars of intervention in their true light.' - A.J.P. Taylor



About the Author

Georges Lefebvre (1877-1959) French historian and member of the influential Annales School of historical thought. He held the chair of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne and was Director of the Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on July 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This year marks the 217th anniversary of the beginning of the Great French Revolution with storming of the Bastille on July 14th. An old Chinese Communist leader, the late Zhou Enlai, was once asked by a reporter to sum up the important lessons of the French Revolution. In reply he answered that it was too early to tell what those lessons might be. Whether that particular story is true or not it does contain one important truth. Militants today at the beginning of the 21st century can still profit from reading the history of that revolution.

Professor Lefebvre's two volume account of that revolution is still a good place to start. Although scholarship on various aspects of the French Revolution has mushroomed since his books first appeared, especially around the time of the 200th anniversary of the revolution, most of that work has been very specialized. After over 40 years these volumes still set the standard for a general overview of the convulsions of French and European society before the rise of the Napoleonic period.

The French Revolution, like its predecessor the American Revolution, is covered with so much banal ceremony, flag- waving, unthinking sunshine patriotism and hubris it is hard to see the forest for the trees. The Bastille action while symbolically interesting is not where the real action took place nor was it politically the most significant event. For militants that comes much later with the rise of the revolutionary tribunals and the Committee of Public Safety under the leadership of the left Jacobins Robespierre and Saint Just. Their overthrow in 1794 by more moderate members of their own party, in what is known as the Thermidorian reaction, stopped the forward progression of the revolution although it did not return it back to the old feudal society.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Sutton on September 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're new to the Revolution, I'd skip ol' Michelet and make a bee-line to Lefebvre's opus. It's an excellent history that remains comprehensive while managing a lively pace throughout.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Written at the 150th anniversary of the bloody event that determined a true twist of fate in the contemporary history, the famous essay of Georges Lefebre meant for many the most comprehensive essay about this candent subject.

Lefebre, an erudite whose sympathy for the Marxism was part of the public domain, made - despite his personal vision - a well detailed process of fragmentation. Like a brilliant surgeon, his pen is a scalpel that dissects the French Revolution in several parts , classified as it follows:

A)The Aristocratic Revolution describes the position of the noblesse and the church by then, the crisis of the monarchy through which details with fluidity the denudated efforts of Necker and Calonne in order to reestablish the financial deficit of 126 millions of francs and the clash of trains this posture meant for them against the weakness of character and lack of vision of Louis XVI and the rest of his Ministers.

B)The Bourgeoise Revolution, his rise and decisive participation in these crucial events.

C)The Popular Revolution which depicts the bloody events that surrounded the previous days of the fatidic July 14yh 1989, as well as the Municipal Revolution at the Provinces .

D)The Rural revolution

E)The Night of August 4th and the declaration of the Human Rights and the Citizen.

F) October journeys

And finally an invaluable Post face of Albert Soboul.

Acquire this fundamental essay whether or not you agree with his political position.
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