We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon | [The Great Courses]

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

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.
Regular Price:$52.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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:

  • France’s oppressed and hungry masses rise up against their government.
  • In Paris, crowds storm the Bastille looking for bread and weaponry.
  • Rumors, panic, and fear grip the nation as it faces an uncertain future.
  • The National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the first bold step toward the invention of democratic politics and a republican state.
  • A young Corsican named Napoleon Bonaparte stuns Europe with his military strategy and political boldness.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (187 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.5 (167 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.2 (168 )
5 star
 (80)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Monte Johnston Clayton, NC 09-17-13
    Monte Johnston Clayton, NC 09-17-13 Member Since 2007

    ...master of none

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a marvelous course. Professor Desan has clearly mastered her subject and so her organization and presentation of the material was nothing short of brilliant. She provides an overview of the forces at work during this historical period and illustrates them with wonderful particulars - songs, quotes, diary entries, letters, etc. She gives you a sense of what it felt like to be alive during each of the stages of the Revolution.

    I recommend this with no reservations.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Lefebvre 08-12-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mostly French Revolution"

    Whilst the course is about the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, it's primary focus is on the French Revolution. That being said, whilst I'm a fan of Napoleon, this is a bit more hostile towards Napoleon than Napoleon podcast by J David Markham and Cameron Reilly, it's more friendly towards the Revolutionaries.

    Overall, this is a great overview of the French Revolution.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liam 10-28-13
    liam 10-28-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing events amazing presentation"
    Would you listen to Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon again? Why?

    Yes, the narrative was well told. You really get an understanding of what was happening, what the atmosphere must have been like. Professor Desan is great to listen to and does not bore even after many hours.


    What did you like best about this story?

    When France became a republic


    Which character – as performed by Professor Suzanne M. Desan – was your favorite?

    N/A, this was not a storybook


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Throughout the course, one becomes immersed and grows attachments to certain characters and certain sides. I wouldn't want that to all be over so quickly.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are on the fence about getting this. Get it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison United States 08-23-13
    Alison United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning!"
    If you could sum up Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon in three words, what would they be?

    Memorable, entertaining tale


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon?

    Suzanne Desan picks her examples & words carefully. This is not presented in a dry manner, but is comprehensive in scope.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Far too long (at 48 lessons) but couldn't wait to listen to next chapters.


    Any additional comments?

    This is educational but it's pure fun too. Beautifully planned to keep you interested & informed.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 02-26-14
    Saud 02-26-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    618
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    276
    215
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    55
    71
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Feels like you're there"

    This course combines big historic events and trends during the era of the French Revolution and through Napoleon's reign with the everyday lives of the people who lived during that time. We need more history courses like this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    augustine 09-15-13
    augustine 09-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect amount of information"

    Professor Desan has written a narrative that details enough information to give the listener the insights needed to make sense of the French Revolution, the Terror, the Hundred Days and finally the carving up of Europe and the Americas that reveal the reasons that eventually lead to the modern era and its wars.
    The performance is dry. Imagine your favorite professor at the lectern going on about the love of her life. She has real enthusiasm but lacks the inflections of a professional reader.
    If you are a person with a curiosity about history, you should definitely get this course.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-08-14
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the Better Courses"
    Where does Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very High.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Loved it. Through and Through.


    What about Professor Suzanne M. Desan’s performance did you like?

    She's got a great speaking voice-


    Any additional comments?

    very good overview of the events during the french revolution, the factions, and the later napoleonic era. engaging and very well done. i recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy NEW YORK, NY, United States 04-05-14
    Jeremy NEW YORK, NY, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2010

    This is the kind of styles I like: good pace, cerebral, well-documented, meaty, mind-bending.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    190
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Revolution vs. tradition"

    The French Revolution is this two-headed historical anomaly. On the one hand, a brutal repression (think: off with your head) followed by the most devastating wars until the 20th century. On the other hand, it is the first spread of democratic ideals and human rights in continental Europe. The point is not to judge but to try explain the commonality between those two, very different, interpretations and, perhaps, draw more philosophical lessons on the price paid for liberties we enjoy idea.

    The book delivers a set of answers to this question and it is of course, nearly impossible to summarize those answers in a few sentences or without the historical context. Yet, I'd like to try to phrase the most contemporary insight that comes out of it. Human progress, as it seems, appears to be driven between the forces of tradition and order (conservatism) vs. the forces of idealism and change (liberalism). Where tradition is based on concrete practices, inherited from parents and ancestors, idealism posits fresh beliefs and ideas. Where order emphasizes social peace, change values the destruction of whatever came before.

    Perhaps this one-time event in history is teaching us the value of moderation, of a middle-way. That even idealistic improvements to human conditions, where applied brutally with no respect for existing institutions and context, are portent of ill consequences. The end does not justify the means. It also tells us that unrestricted reverence for a set of traditions without any consideration of their social consequences is a dangerous route. In summary, it tells us about the value of slowly evolving, adaptative institutions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Bozman, md, United States 03-26-14
    Daniel Bozman, md, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating History Very Well Told"
    Any additional comments?

    Professor Desan does a tremendous job explaining what led to the revolution, how it wen awry, and the consequences. An engrossing look at one of the most fascinating periods in history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Homewood, AL, United States 10-18-13
    Chris Homewood, AL, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Presentation"
    What about Professor Suzanne M. Desan’s performance did you like?

    Professor Desan's enthusiasm really brought this topic to life. She did an excellent job explaining what was going on in ancien regime France that brought about such a profound event and the revolution's impact on France and Europe. In fact, I have a much better understanding of why the French Revolution is still so important to the French, perhaps even more so than our own. Finally, her lectures on Napoleon were balanced and nuanced. Napoleon is treacherous territory for any historian, but she traversed it with skill and aplomb.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • mr
    west sussex, United Kingdom
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good"

    Really very good, focuses on the political and social side more than Napoleon, though he still does feature heavily. I will certainly be getting more books from The Great Courses.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Iida
    7/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining and Informative"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon to be better than the print version?

    Lectures always work best in their original format. However, I feel that the lack of visual images did not bother me at all - the descriptions were vivid and clear.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon?

    I was particularly fond of the stories of 'little' individuals, especially those not often mentioned in the context of the topic.


    What does Professor Suzanne M. Desan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Enthusiasm, passion for history, sense of humour.


    Any additional comments?

    I was left hungry for more. Unfortunately, another Great Courses lecture series I tried just did not compare to this one. I wish Professor Desan would expand on another topic in a similar way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.