Cover: Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914, from Harvard University PressCover: Children of the Revolution in PAPERBACK

Children of the Revolution

The French, 1799-1914

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674057241

Publication Date: 10/30/2010


576 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 maps, 43 halftones

United States and its dependencies only

[An] erudite account of France’s long nineteenth century… It is impossible to interpret the slaughter of a million and a half people as a triumph in any setting, but Gildea shows unforgettably a national identity winning out against all odds. It’s a lengthy, complex saga, but he manages to sustain enough buoyancy in his prose to allow it to be read from beginning to end with interest and pleasure… One of the considerable strengths of Children of the Revolution is Gildea’s eye for an individual example, anecdote or aphorism, combined with his comprehensive knowledge of the literature of nineteenth-century France… Gildea’s book is a substantial contribution to understanding the individual nation that is France.—Ruth Scurr, The Nation

With penetration and style, [Gildea] paints a complex portrait of a society geographically and temperamentally divided, constantly at war with itself, yet managing to forge a cohesive national identity at home and abroad.The Atlantic

At the heart of Robert Gildea’s Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799–1914 is a vast project: not just a history of France during those astonishing years—from Napoleon to the killing fields of Verdun—but a history of the French themselves. There’s a sea of books on the French Revolution and its fallout. There’s another sea of books on French cultural history—its edgy Parisian salons, its sun-drenched villages in Provence. It’s rare to try to fuse both, rarer still to do it well. He does… It’s a great read.—Gail Russell Chaddock, The Christian Science Monitor

Stimulating and highly readable… Robert Gildea has drawn very effectively on recent research in the areas he chooses to explore, and he presents his material in admirably lucid and entertaining prose. And, above all, he succeeds in one central task: showing just how surprisingly livable and creative France was during this golden century-long interval between two moments of horror. No wonder that so many remain nostalgic for it, and not just within the country’s borders.—David A. Bell, The New Republic

[A] thoroughly researched work of scholarship.—Jim Doyle, Library Journal

The French Revolution’s cries of ‘liberty, fraternity, and equality’ reverberated throughout Europe and America. Yet in France, as Oxford historian Gildea demonstrates in this elegant political and cultural history, the consequences of the revolution were far more ambiguous: its mixed legacy included ‘hope for a new day’ as well as ‘anarchy, bloodletting and despotism.’… Invoking writers and thinkers from Musset to Flaubert to Péguy, Gildea’s spellbinding book offers a challenging new portrait of the long-term impact of the French Revolution.Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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