The debate on the French Revolution

By Peter J. Davies

The debate on the French Revolution

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7177-5
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: December 2006
  • BIC Category: French Revolution, Humanities / History, HISTORY / Europe / France, HISTORY / Revolutionary, European history, France, History, History, Modern History
  • Series: Issues in Historiography


This book deals with the various types of revolutionary history and the numerous schools of historical thought concerned with the French Revolution. By the time of the Bicentenary celebrations in 1989, the historiographical field had been opened up so much that it was impossible to speak with certainty about any kind of new 'orthodoxy' at all. The fact that the decade and a half following the Bicentenary offered up its own hotchpotch of theorising merely confirmed this.

The survey of writings presents a cross-section of historians of the Revolution from the early nineteenth century right up to the present day. From liberals to conservatives and from Marxists to revisionists, it focuses on those individuals who are generally perceived to be the 'major' or 'pre-eminent' figures within revolutionary historiography.

A 'history of the histories', this book will be an ideal starting point for those students seeking to better-understand the French Revolution and its history.


1. Immediate Responses
2. Nineteenth Century - The Liberal Perspective
3. Nineteenth Century - Idealist and Romantic Views
4. Nineteenth Century - Tocqueville
5. Nineteenth Century - Third Republic Historians
6. Twentieth Century - Marxist 'Orthodoxy'
7. Twentieth Century - 'Soft Revisionism'
8. Twentieth Century - 'Hard Revisionism'
9. Twentieth Century - Bicentenary Re-evaluations


Peter J. Davies is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Huddersfield

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