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Revolutionary Europe: 1783 - 1815 2nd Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631221906
ISBN-10: 0631221905
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is a new edition of a book widely regarded as a classic in the field. Written by one of the leading authorities on the social history of Europe's revolutionary age, George Rude's beautifully written masterpiece provides an account of Europe before the great upheaval, outlining both the course of the Revolution in France and Napoleon's rule, and tracing their impact and influence on Europe. Highlighting the social and economic aspects of this exciting period, Rude vividly brings to life many of the key issues that have fascinated historians since the fall of the Bastille.

George Rude died in 1993 and for this edition his literary executor, the renowned historiographer Harvey J. Kaye, has written an extensive introduction examining Rude's life and works. Now revised and with an updated list of additional readings, this new edition of Revolutionary Europe will continue to be welcomed and enjoyed by a new generation of historians.

About the Author

At the time of his death in 1993, George Rude was Emeritus Professor of History at Concordia University, Montreal where he had worked since 1970. Previously he had taught at various schools in England and had been Professor of History at the University of Adelaide and at Flinders University. His publications include The Crowd in the French Revolution (1959), Hanoverian London 1714-1808 (1972), Europe in the Eighteenth Century (1972), Debate on Europe 1815-1850 (1972), Ideology and Popular Protest (1980), The French Revolution (1994), and The Crowd in History (1995).

Harvey J. Kaye is Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Social Change and Development, Director of the Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and executor of the George RudÚ Literary Estate. His previous books include Why Do Ruling Classes Fear History? and Other Questions (1996), The Powers of the Past (1992) and The British Marxist Historians (1995).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (January 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631221905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631221906
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
It's hard to imagine a popular publisher commission a twelve part history of Europe from the Reformation to World War 2 for the general reader these days, but in the 1960s that is what Fontana publishing did with their history of Europe. George Rude's contribution covers the period from 1783-1815 under the title "Revolutionary Europe" and in a readable prose explicates for the general reader the history of Europe during the turmoil and upheavals of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era.

The period itself is broken down into four parts, firstly the scene is set with an account of Europe in the early 1780's that considers the state of European developments at that time and the conflicts within as well as between Nations. The largest section of the book covers the French revolution itself and the variety of twists and turns it took prior to the rise of Napoleon. This is followed by an account of the myriad of effects that the revolutionary ideology had across Europe, and the Wars that were fought across the continent. Part of the revolutionary ideology was the recognition of talent without regard to status, so in effect you didn't have to be a member of the nobility/aristocracy to rise high in the service of the State. One such talented individual was Napoleon, and the fourth part of the book looks at his rise to power in the army, in France and across Europe as well as his eventual fall, resurrection and eventual exile to St Helena a sort of early 19th Century Guantanemo Bay for one.

Rude is pretty even handed throughout, and though he freely gives his opinion he also allows room for other views of the events of those decades. It's a good few years old, initially published in 1962, but stands up well against other books I have read on this period.
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Format: Unknown Binding
Revolutionary Europe, 1783-1815, George Rude*; Harper & Row (1963 hardcover)

A forty-four pound cat was once lost & then found wandering around in the woods of New Jersey. "Chunk" became both an instant tabloid celebrity & a timely inspiration to this writer, previously at a loss as to how to create a metaphorical image of Mr. Rude's endless sentences & paragraphs.

A four-word sentence on page 264 provided some relief.

Only by being incarcerated for 12 hours during two continental flights to & from California was it possible to be able to get past the first 200 pages of this suitable-for-wallpaper tripe. In the home stretch, Chapters XI ("Revolutionary War") on out to the finale ("Perspectives") were relatively succinct & a welcome improvement. But how many readers in the past 45 years gave up before ever reading them?

Two or three more of these & I might be reading novels again.

Retained for its useful glossary of French & English words & terms & slogans of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic France era; its conscientious & systematic inclusion of historical dates; & for its extensive bibliography... which could have been printed in a normal size type - rendering them clearly legible - if Rude's academic bombfog (i.e., "as we have seen in previous chapters"**) - had been eliminated by an able editor intent upon producing a readable history.

Two-&-a-half stars for the reasons that it was retained & a half-star was added out of respect for Dr. John Kreis, who spoke respectfully of the book as a source reliable enough to be used to resolve a question about the function of the French parlement prior to the guillotine emerging as the final word in French legal circles during the revolution.
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