The History of the French Revolution
It has been twenty five years since Simon Schama’s Citizens brought the French Revolution to life and to the bestseller lists. Much has happened, in terms of both scholarship on the period and in world events, since 1989 and the time is right for a new general history. In A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution, historian Jeremy Popkin brings a fresh and broad-ranging perspective to the French Revolution, and illuminates how relevant it is to our understanding of the world today.
Taking into account the last quarter century of research, A New World Begins fully integrates debates about the role of women as well as confrontations about race and slavery into the narrative. Popkin also expands the chronology of the period, reaching beyond the fall of Robespierre in 1794, and continuing through the years of the Directory. During that time, which has been little covered in other works for general readers, France moved beyond the Terror but also paved the way for Napoleon to seize power and marked the beginning of western expansion, particularly into the countries of the Middle East.
A New World Begins is a dramatic and thought-provoking account of a conflict in which many of the values that we consider fundamental to modern society were tested and debated. Its history could not be more resonant.
Praise for A New World Begins
In A New World Begins, Jeremy Popkin, a professor of history at the University of Kentucky, oﬀers a fresh and fair-minded account of the revolution overﬂowing with vivid narrative detail and clear exposition. —The Wall Street Journal
What makes a good history book? Subject matter? Writing style? Clarity? Whatever your answer may be, Jeremy D. Popkin’s A New World Begins qualifies.” —Bookreporter
Popkin’s expertise on revolutionary-era France is keenly demonstrated here-from prerevolutionary thought through the history of the country up to Louis XVI and his Hapsburg wife, Marie-Antoinette, and beyond, to the years of upheaval and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Sweeping in coverage, A New World Begins offers a fresh and richly detailed account of French revolutionary politics. Jeremy Popkin is an outstanding scholar of the French and Haitian Revolutions, and his deep layers of expertise shine through the pages of this book. This thought-provoking account will push readers to reflect deeply on the contradictions and complexities of modern democracy. —Suzanne Desan, professor of history, University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of The Family on Trial in Revolutionary France