Cover image for Origins of the French Revolution
Origins of the French Revolution
Doyle, William, 1942-
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 237 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC147.8 .D69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DC147.8 .D69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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First published in 1980, this book rapidly established itself as the indispensable guide to what brought about the French Revolution, and to the debates of historians about the issue. It combined a full critical account of recent controversies with a fresh interpretation taking stock of wherethe debate had led. Since 1980 discussion among historians has continued as lively as ever, and has moved in directions scarcely explored at that time. The `revisionist' criticism which destroyed the classic mid-century consensus emphasizing the Revolution's social and economic origins has openedthe way to a `post-revisionist' approach focused on cultural change. This new edition brings the subject up to date with an extensisively rewritten survey of the historiography up to the present day, and a revised interpretation modified in the light of research by a new generation of scholars. It will thus remain the starting point for any serious study of thegreatest of all revolutions, which lies at the root of the modern political world. `important book . . . readable and perceptive analysis', Times Higher Education Supplement `His book is excellent, achieving the rare distinction of being both useful and revealing', Spectator `brief, clear, and thoughtful', Journal of Modern History

Author Notes

William Doyle is a writer and documentary producer whose previous book, Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton, was a New York Times Notable Book. In 1998 he won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best TV Documentary for the A&E special "The Secret White House Tapes," which he cowrote and coproduced. He lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Part I Writings on Revolutionary Origins since 1939
1 The Classic Interpretation
3 Post-Revisionism
Part II The Breakdown of the Old Regime
4 The Financial Crisis
5 The System of Government
6 Opposition
7 Public Opinion
8 Reform and its Failure 1787-88
Part III The Struggle for Power
9 The Nobility
10 The Bourgeoisie
11 The Election Campaign September 1788- to May 1789
12 The Economic Crisis
13 The Estates-General, May and June 1789
14 The People of Paris
15 The Peasantry
16 Conclusion: The New Regime and its Principles
Further Reading
Index of Authors Cited
General Index