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The Days of the French Revolution
ISBN 0688169783 / 9780688169787 / 0-688-16978-3
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
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"Never was any such event so inevitable yet so completely unforeseen." Alexis de Tocqueville's 19th-century assessment of the French Revolution echoes the contemporary reaction to the monumental events that took place over 200 years ago. Christopher Hibbert's superb historical narrative The Days of the French Revolution captures de Tocqueville's immediacy but tempers it with the hindsight of history. Detailing events from the meeting of the Estates General at Versailles in 1789 to the coup d'état that brought Napoleon to power 10 years later, The Days of the French Revolution captures the passion and ferocity motivating the events and the individuals that most dramatically shaped the Revolution.
Originally published in 1990, The Days of the French Revolution maintains its supremacy among the plethora of French Revolution histories. An acclaimed author of over 25 historical and biographical studies, Hibbert presents complexly related events in a logical, readable format and supplies plenty of historical background and detail without sacrificing clarity or narrative flow. He writes for the general reader unfamiliar with Revolution history, introducing them to individuals as diverse as Marie Antoinette, the young lawyer Danton, the journalist Marat, and the Girondin, sans-culotte and extremist Enragé political factions, weaving their fates together, and adeptly illustrating how they influenced the Revolution and how the Revolution, in turn, changed their lives. Maps, illustrations, a chronology of principle events, a glossary, and a list of major sources supplement Hibbert's eight chronologically ordered chapters, and his prologue, which focuses on the reign of Louis XVI, sets the scene for the events of 1789. At the same time entertaining and informative, The Days of the French Revolution allows its readers to forget that they are reading a book of history. --Bertina Loeffler Sedlack [via]