Vive la Revolution

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2003 - France - 299 pages
5 Reviews
For most of us, the French Revolution has been reduced to jokes about Marie-Antoinette, guillotines and the Scarlet Pimpernel. But for Mark Steel, bestselling author of REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL, the French Revolution was one of the most inspirational moments in human history - a moment when ordinary people changed the world and became extraordinary. It deserves better jokes than that.
In this revolutionary new book, Steel banishes stuffiness from history, telling us what happened in France between the storming of the Bastille and the rise of Napoleon, bringing to life the people who made them happen. His account is dominated by bizarre events and splendid characters, from the famously odd Robespierre, Danton and Thomas Paine, to the less well known Drouet, the local postman who arrested the fleeing King because he recognised him as the man off of the money.
VIVE LA REVOLUTION is an uproariously serious work of history - brilliantly funny and insightful, it puts the peculiarity of individual people back at the centre of the story.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fieldri1 - LibraryThing

I received a copy of this book from my mother-in-law. She, in turn had received her copy as the member of a reading group, and she felt, not surprisingly, that it was much more my thing than hers.The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Clurb - LibraryThing

Steel's irreverent wit makes this account of the French revolution accessible and hugely entertaining. Written in much the same style as his Radio 4 lectures, this is popular history for the masses and exceedingly well done. Read full review

Contents

The Ancien Regime
10
An Ongoing Row
23
The French and Their Filth
38
The Crisis
47
On to the Bastille
72
Taking Sides
83
The King Reacts
109
The Second Revolution
139
Year II
195
Its All Going Wrong
220
Napoleon and the End of Radicalism
244
The Revolution in the Mind
262
Conclusion
271
Notes
277
Bibliography
283
Picture Credits
290

The Republic
158
Complete Control
174

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