I became obsessed in the last year with the French Revolution because I desperately wanted to answer two questions that had been plaguing me from all my other reading: 1)If the French Revolution had been so heavily influenced by the American Revolution, how did the American Revolution go so right, but the French went so very, very wrong and 2) What was it about the French Revolution that went on to spawn the worst monsters of the 20th Century--Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao (among others)?
Simon Schama densely packs this book with exquisit detail from every possible aspect of French society in the late 1700s so an amazingly complete picture emerges about the French Revolution. Art, literature, philosphy, science, industry, politics, theatre, music, food . . . right down to fashion and hair styles are blended with major characters' thoughts, motivations and actions....Continua
Excellent anecdotal guide to the French Revolution. Though it's a hefty book, it never drags. Schama's strength is in his compulsive readability. This is a great resource for anyone without a background in this contentious, still controversial period of history....Continua