It is an era that redefined history. As the 1790s began, a fragile America teetered on the brink of oblivion, Russia towered as a vast imperial power, and France plunged into revolution. But in contrast to the way conventional histories tell it, none of these remarkable events occurred in isolation.
Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian Jay Winik masterfully illuminates how their fates combined in one extraordinary moment to change the course of civilization. A sweeping, magisterial drama featuring the richest cast of characters ever to walk upon the world stage, including Washington, Jefferson, Louis XVI, Robespierre, and Catherine the Great, The Great Upheaval is a gripping, epic portrait of this tumultuous decade that will forever transform the way we see America's beginnings and our world.
©2007 Jay Winik (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
I will say right off that it took a while for the book to get going. But once it did it hit its stride in a very eloquent fashion telling the story of the French Revolution and then framing it with events going on at the time in Russia and the fledgling United States. I have read a number of books about the French Revolution but never one that put it into so much contact in regards to American history. At times it was downright scary to see how close we were to possibly falling into the chaos everything from the storming of the Bastille to the actual Terror itself are scenes that could have been replayed here in this country at that time. For that alone I highly recommend this book.
Not as good as his more recent books and somewhat random in how it is organized but it would have to be in order to tell whole story. In some ways I found the parts about Russia the most interesting but really not connected to the overall storyline of the book. Overall I believe the focus of the author should have been more on France and the US but that would have been a much shorter read. Seems like Russia was "thrown in" to make a more complete story. But overall very solid and enjoyable.
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