Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light

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Macmillan, Sep 4, 2000 - History - 272 pages

What the two great modern revolutions can teach us about democracy today

The American and French revolutions presented the world with two very different visions of democracy. Although both professed similar Enlightenment ideals of freedom, equality, and justice and set similar political agendas, there were also fundamental differences. The French sought a complete break with a thousand years of history; the Americans were content to preserve many aspects of their English heritage. Why did the two revolutions follow such different trajectories? And what lessons do they offer us about democracy today? In lucid narrative style, Dunn captures the personalities and lives of the great figures of both revolutions, and shows how their stories added up to make two very different events.


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User Review  - Unreachableshelf - LibraryThing

A fascinating look at how and why the results of the American and French revolutions came to be so different, and on their influences on other revolultions through the 20th century. Read full review

SISTER REVOLUTIONS: French Lightning, American Light

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Dunn (Williams Coll.; The Deaths of Louis XVI: Regicide and the French Political Imagination, not reviewed) compares the American and French revolutionary traditions and, not surprisingly in this ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Susan Dunn is professor of French literature and the history of ideas at Williams College. She is the author of numerous critically acclaimed articles and books in political theory and historical literary criticism, and she has been the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

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