Thursday, 15 January 2015

Book Review: The French Revolution by Eric Hazan

Review: The French Revolution
Ian Birchall reviews The French Revolution by Eric Hazan


  1. One has expected, in this book, to find something similar to George Rude's The Crowd in the French Revolution, if not Georges Lefebvre's La Grande Peur de 1789, but it has turned to be an "official chronicle" of the revolution, not "a people's history." The author apparently has endeavored to produce an aspect of the French revolution, trying to read history from the bottom up. He has tried to work out a worms-eye view of the revolution but with little success. He had better stick to his original title, "A History of the French Revolution." The English translation, unfortunately, leaves readers much to be desired.

  2. This book has almost no commentary on the events of the French Revolution. On the jacket of the book it says that the author questions whether the Terror was justified. There is hardly anything about the Terror in this book. The bulk of this book is quotes from other authors and Robespierre. The title of the book, "A peoples' history" is misleading. Most of the material consists of quotes from politicians. There is very little about women and the working class. The author states in his preface that he wants to make people excited about the Revolution. I don't think he succeeds because the Revolution he describes is a series of mob actions, massacres, and changes of government.

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