Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud : France, 1789/1989

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Cornell University Press, 1995 - History - 234 pages
In 1993, Editions Fayard published Steven Laurence Kaplan's controversial history of the bicentennial commemoration of the French Revolution. Here available in English is one of the most polemical parts of that work, Kaplan's account of the contemporary debates over the meaning of the Revolution. Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud, France, 1789/1989 traces the impact of the historians' bitter quarrel, from Parisian academic circles to the public arenas of the bicentennial celebration.
In the complementary work, Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, France, 1789/1989, Kaplan chronicles both the ceremonies and the controversies that marked the bicentennial. The present volume considers in intimate detail the roles played in those arguments by three of France's most influential historians: Francois Furet, Pierre Chaunu, and Michel Vovelle. The apparent "king" of the bicentennial, Furet attempted to set and enforce the terms of the debate. Chaunu was the prominent spokesman of those who condemned the Revolution as the wellspring of all that is decadent in modern French culture. While officially entrusted with overseeing the historical accuracy of the commemoration, Vovelle attempted to rally a broad-based coalition against Chaunu and the conservatives. As he reenacts the feud, Kaplan invites a reassessment of the relationship between the writing of history and the practice of politics. His book suggests that the charged relationship between history and politics that enlivened the bicentennial may be the Revolution's most enduring legacy.

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Farewell, revolution: the historians' feud: France, 1789-/1989

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Adieu 89, published in France in 1993, is the French version of this volume by Kaplan (history, Cornell), who has other books about 18th-century France to his credit (Provisioning Paris: Merchants and ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Steven Laurence Kaplan is Goldwin Smith Professor of History at Cornell University.

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