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1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History) Paperback – February 22, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 ratings

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  • 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History)
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  • England's Glorious Revolution 1688-1689: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History and Culture)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Pincus’s cogently argued account of what really happened during England’s revolution destroys many comforting notions that have prevailed for more than 200 years. . . . It leaves the reader with something much more exciting: a new understanding of the origins of the modern, liberal state."—Economist


"Pincus’s marvellously learned book is the product of years of industrious archival labour."—Jonathan Clark, Times Literary Supplement

"[A]n important, fresh, and imaginative work of scholarship. . . . It will have recast the origins of modern England as well as the history of the revolution of 1688."—Bernard Bailyn, New York Review of Books

"There is also much that is impressive and exciting about this book, not only its archival reach but also Pincus's intellectual ambition and his determination to pursue his theme of modernity as well as his willingness to embrace comparative issues."―Jeremy Black, American Historical Review

"Meticulously researched and deftly written."—Andrew Stuttaford, National Review

"One of the most ambitious works of history to appear in recent years--a radical reinterpretation of events that intends not merely to update and improve prior accounts but to vanquish them conclusively. The book is a marvel of scholarship."—The National


"The grand aspirations of this book and the broad sweep of its claims will insure that it is taken seriously by scholars working on the Glorious Revolution for years to come...It will stand out as the opening salvo in a series of historical battles that will light up 1688 in newly vibrant tones."—Paul Monod, Journal of Church History

"A significant contribution to the scholarship of the period. . . . Pincus develops his analysis through lively writing informed by extensive primary-source research. . . . There is much to be said for Pincus's approach, blending economic and political theory together with seemingly effortless ease in a well-written and highly readable account. . . . In the end, there is every reason to think that his analysis of the events of late-seventeenth-century England will, for want of a better term, revolutionize our understanding of the period."—Scott Hendrix, Canadian Journal of History

Bronze Medal winner for the 2010 Independent Publishers Book Awards in the History Category

Winner of the 2010 Gustav Ranis International Book Prize, given by the MacMillan Center

Honorable Mention in the Non-Fiction category of the 2009 New England Book Festival sponsored by the Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, The Hollywood Creative Directory; eDivvy, Shopanista and Westside Websites

A finalist in the category of Nonfiction for the 2010 Connecticut Book Award, given by the Connecticut Center for the Book
Winner of the 2010 Morris D. Forkosch Prize given by the American Historical Association

"Utterly extraordinary."―Don Herzog, University of Michigan

"We all know that the year 1688 is a milestone in England's history; now, thanks to Steve Pincus, the book 1688 will be a milestone in its historiography.  Pincus transforms what once seemed a peaceful compromise among agreeable aristocrats into a fractious and all-encompassing crisis, the ‘first modern revolution.’ Provocative, erudite, and accessible, 1688 is a must read for anyone interested in seventeenth-century Europe and its possessions."—Cynthia Herrup, University of Southern California


"In this remarkable work of scholarship, vast in scope and profound in its implications, Pincus challenges Macaulay and the orthodox view that the Glorious Revolution was moderate, peaceful, and conservative, and reveals a violent transformational event that revolutionized England's state, church, and political economy, and introduced political modernity."―Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University

"A radical interpretation of a radical revolution.  Steve Pincus's brilliantly researched account of the extraordinary events of the 1680s and 1690s mounts an insuperable challenge to the comfortable view that the Glorious Revolution was another instance of British consensus politics, pragmatism, and common sense. 1688 recaptures the revolutionary nature of the Glorious Revolution and its far-reaching and interconnected conflicts over foreign policy, political economy, religion, and the nature of the modern state."—John Brewer, California Institute of Technology

"A magnificent, fully documented, very well written study of how the first thorough-going modern revolution was achieved with effort and against substantial obstacles over several years.  It was bloody and popular, not merely a palace coup achieved with little loss of life, as is commonly held.  Taking a broader chronological view and considering more aspects of society than previous historians, Pincus convincingly shows how England had become a commercial society by the 1680s, and the race was on to harness new wealth—a race between the absolutist modernizing vision of James II and the more tolerant and liberty-minded vision of his opponents.  What emerged was the first modern state, with independent financial institutions and a strong sense of national and civil, as opposed to confessional, interest.  The triumph of William III and his supporters was a conscious re-ordering of the place of the three kingdoms on the European and world stage.  Pincus's commitment to vigorous argument (in which he overturns many received views; his definition of revolution itself is bracingly refreshing) makes this book exciting reading, and will raise fascinated interest in the late 17th-century for many years to come.  For anyone interested in modern liberal society, its origins, and why it is worth defending, this book is indispensable."—Nigel Smith, Princeton University


Book Description

In this bold new narrative history Steve Pincus argues that England’s Glorious Revolution was a fundamental turning point in the making of the modern world.


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Top international reviews

Germinal
4.0 out of 5 stars 1688 - all that and more
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2014
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E. Woolley
4.0 out of 5 stars A book for enthusiasts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2010
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Phillip Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Good. Just what I needed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2017
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biker
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2018
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Werner Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars A little difficult to read, but worth the effort
Reviewed in Germany on January 7, 2018
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gabriel tortella
5.0 out of 5 stars Una nueva visión, que me parece muy convincente, de un tema fundamental
Reviewed in Spain on February 19, 2018
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Mandrake
2.0 out of 5 stars A work of substantial research but poor scholarship, it is interesting in parts but a long and tedious read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2014
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Cade73
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
Reviewed in Canada on December 18, 2009
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Tom Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars 1688: The First Modern Revolution
Reviewed in Canada on December 5, 2009
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Peter Green
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book Ruined by Amateur Proof Reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2014
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