The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel:
Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon is your opportunity to learn the full story of this captivating period. Taught by Dr. Suzanne M. Desan, these 48 exciting lectures give you a broad and comprehensive survey of one of the most important eras in modern history.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses
It is a thorough treatment of a pivotal period of Western Civilization.
The entry of Napoleon into Paris after leaving Egypt
At 24 hours it takes quite a few sessions.
Excellent historian presentation
I highly recommend this book (or should I say, lecture series) for anyone interested in this topic. It offers a very thorough overview of the French Revolution from its inspirations and beginnings to the fall of Napoleon and Waterloo and subsequent historical events and trends. It also highlights other important players in the French Revolution beside just the French nation, including the process of the creation of the modern state of Haiti as well as important countries that played a role in the French Revolution or were greatly affected by it. I have listened to a number of Great Courses, and this is definitely one of the better ones I have listened to. The lecturer makes the series interesting to listen to but also does not sacrifice on content. It is also a longer series than normal, so it is well worth a credit. If you are interested in the topic and in history in general, you won't be disappointed!
My daughter went to France to write a master's thesis on the French Revolution so I decided to learn about it. I have always been a student of our revolution. This is an expansive story of the details of the revolution and the rise of Napoleon; thank God we had the guidance of the British parliamentary system to form our own government. The French were lost, confused and seemed to have no guiding principles. They fought against the church as much as the monarchy. They tore themselves apart only to be united by an authoritarian conquerer in Napoleon. This is a lesson on how not to have a revolution !
What a wonderful explosion of knowledge this has been for me. Thank you Professor Desan. Your knowledge and compilation of events is brilliant. I just could not put it down, and completed listening to it in two days. You have whetted my appetite for more. Thank you, again.
Well paced, highly intelligent, full of fascinating anecdotes - makes the time and period alive and vibrant. Enjoyed this enormously, as I had a very tenuous grasp on the revolution prior to this series. This is the revolution that makes all subsequent revolutions (including the Russian) comprehensible...the pattern was established first in France. War..poverty..famine..revolution...extreme idealism...turning to the dark side...puritanism...repression...terror...dictatorship. The lecturer know her materials and how to maintain interest - and she speaks French really well. Her vocal tones are not always as dramatic as some other lecturers - but you will find that you are so invested in the situation and the story that it is never a problem. Highly recommended.
I've been looking for an English language history of the French Revolution and I'm very happy to have found this course.
What I wanted was an overview of what happened during the french revolution and the Napoleonic wars and this course was almost exactly what I was looking for.
I might suggest that they split the topics into two courses, one for Napoleon and one for the revolution as even with something like 38 chapters it feels like we are missing some of the depth that would be helpful in understanding the subject matter.
Enthusiastic, Skeptical, Warm-hearted, Concerned.
A most interesting and educational audiobook. I'm glad I bought it, and glad I listened to it.
Three negatives, however. One, professor Desan's reading is a bit stressed, and it gets wearing by the end of the lecture series. Two, the lectures are not in strict chronological order, so it's frequently difficult to tell what year is being discussed. To be fair, however, the lectures are organized by topic, which is why this is true, but she rarely re-references the year, so it's often difficult to figure out what year it is. Three, the lectures come across as somehow impersonal, so although there are frequent discussions about people's attitudes and difficulties, I didn't come away with a vibrant visualization of these.
At the end of the day, this is a good overview of a complex and important part of world history, and Professor Desan's wrap-up and discussion of the repercussions and influence of the French Revolution is excellent.
Finally, if you want to listen to it, buy some credits and get it at discount.
Overall, there is a lot of great information in this course - I learned a lot. However, I was somewhat disappointed that the focus was mostly on the 6-7 years or so surrounding the Revolution, then she sort of blasts through the Napoleonic era. That's fine if you're looking for a comprehensive understanding of the Revolution, but I was mostly interested in Napoleon going in to this. Military history this is not.
Her treatment of the terror left me flat. She seems to be an apologist, giving lots of information about why and how the perpetrators did what they did, but I got no sense of how the people of France felt about it. It felt like, "this happened then that happened, then it was over and everybody was ready to move on."
On the plus side, I was interested to learn about how France and the new United States viewed each other, and the huge consequences the Revolution had for the U.S.
I found her speech pattern annoying but not horribly so. She's clearly reading and I'm a bit surprised some of her stumbles were not edited out. While I have no doubt she is very passionate about her subject matter, she's not easy to listen to.
This is a thrilling story and is beautifully told.
The Narrator. She is funny and insightful.
I can't choose.
D.C. Moll, L.Ac.
Not a good reader for this topic, many inappropriate pauses, like she is reading this for the very first time. I can't finish this one, so sad.
Not a good match, I could fall asleep during the pauses.
Win some lose some, this was a loser for moi.
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