Tag French revolution

The Working Class Has the New Bourgeoisie Running Scared

Christophe Guilluy— The working class, wearing yellow vests, has just won a decisive battle: it has at last managed to make itself visible.  The gilets jaunes are not a traditional social movement that pits workers against employers or left against right.  For four months now, the young people, the older

Continue reading…

Personal Accounts of the French Revolution

Peter McPhee— The French Revolution is one of the great turning-points in history. Its achievements and triumphs—like its deceptions and atrocities—were of a scale that has made its stature unique. Never before had the people of a large, populous country sought to fundamentally remake their society on the basis of

Continue reading…

Dangerous Books in America, Britain, and France

Books have always had the power to make authorities rather uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s because the novel makes the government look bad, goes against the teachings of a particular religion, or says things that are simply too salacious. In A Little History of Literature, John Sutherland takes a look at how

Continue reading…

The Tipping Point: Where Bastille Day Meets Madame de Staël

A Happy Bastille Day to one and all! France’s national holiday is a day for celebrating its people as a collective force to be reckoned with. Specifically, it remembers those who came together to storm the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789. More generally, however, it celebrates the forging

Continue reading…

Eminent Biography: Peter McPhee on Robespierre

Was Maximilien Robespierre (1758-94) a heroic martyr of the French Revolution, or a ruthless tyrant? In his new biography Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life, Peter McPhee combines new research and a deep understanding of the French Revolution to provide a fresh and nuanced portrait of one of history’s most controversial figures. Here the author discusses Robespierre, and explains the

Continue reading…

To London, with Love: For the Man of December

Ivan Lett The nickname l’homme de décembre was given to Napoléon III, largely, it seems, for living in the shadow of his uncle Napoléon I, Emperor of the French. On December 2, 1804, Napoléon I was crowned emperor, changing the political landscape of not only Europe, but the emerging interconnected

Continue reading…