Cover: The Contentious French, from Harvard University PressCover: The Contentious French in E-DITION

The Contentious French

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674433984

Publication Date: 03/03/1986

456 pages


Belknap Press


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

[A] panoramic survey of four centuries of social conflict… A persuasive and well-written recreation of the dense texture of daily lives…Tilly is concerned to understand the actors in their own terms and not to condemn them as irrational mobs, sentimentalize them as the virtuous oppressed or patronize them as ‘primitive rebels.’—Alan B. Spitzer, The New York Times Book Review

A bold, stimulating synthesis which all students of the broad sweep of modern French history will want to ponder and argue about.—William Doyle, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Few historians are more familiar with the rich qualitative and quantitative material on popular protest, and no scholar has spent more hours in more French archives in search of the causes behind collective actions… If the historian’s charge is to make sense of the seemingly senseless, to weave a coherent story from disparate threads, Professor Tilly has applied his formidable talents to the perfect subject and met the challenge on many fronts.—Michael Burns, American Scholar

Tilly’s The Contentious French is a remarkable book that clarifies the historical impact of the processes of statemaking, industrialization, urbanization, and proletarianization. The writing style is as evocative as it is clear; readers will be delighted with the systematic and elegant presentation of the experiences of ordinary French men and women… Important, provocative, and convincing.—John Merriman, Yale University

Awards & Accolades

  • 1989 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, American Sociological Association
  • Co-Winner, 1986 C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems
Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters, by Anthea Roberts and Nicolas Lamp, from Harvard University Press

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene