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A Concise History of France

Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 19 hrs and 25 mins
3 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ranging from the early Middle Ages to the present, this is one of the broadest and most up-to-date studies of French history available in English. Among its central themes are the relationships between state and society, the impact of war, competition for power, and the ways in which power has been used. Whilst taking full account of major figures such as Philip Augustus, Henri IV, Louis XIV, Napoleon and de Gaulle, it sets their activities within the broader context of changing economic and social structures and beliefs, and offers rich insights into the lives of ordinary men and women. The recording also includes a chapter on contemporary France - its society and political system as a result of globalization, rising unemployment, a failing educational system, growing social and racial tensions, corruption, the rise of the extreme right, and a widespread loss of confidence in political leaders.

©1993, 2005, 2014 Cambridge University Press (P)2019 Naxos Audiobooks

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A unique approach on French history

The author/historian did a wonderful job researching the numerous data points displayed in this book. However, that's just it, a statement of data point on populations, farming yield per region per decade, etc. This is not your traditional history book and for me, a lack of cohesion with those data points and traditional historical aspects left me, frankly, bored at times. As someone who loves learning about history of various places and people, this was not my cup of tea.

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Blech

This book took the story out of history. I kept waiting for it to get better. If you liked social studies class this one is right up your alley. You’ll learn everything you never needed to know about production output. However, of what makes the French people French, you’ll learn nothing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-19

Fantastic, Accessible, and yet, Intellectual

Balanced, well researched, brilliantly structured, and intellectual. It seems other reviewers were looking for a good 'story' or a book in the form of the 'popular history' genre, but anyone truly interested in 'knowledge' as an end in itself should buy this book as a fantastic introduction to French history.

That is not to say the book is dry in any way at all, it's rather engaging and given its concise nature, very fast paced! Having an understanding of basic social science concepts is helpful, although not a necessity.

Personally, this has inspired me to read other works such as those by Lefebvre regarding the French Revolution and Napoleon, as well as a deep fascination with the Dreyfus Affair, on which a brilliant book is written by Eric Cahm (highly recommended too).

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  • captainjamesmartin
  • 06-25-19

Not a Concise History

The book claims to be a concise history of France, it isn’t, it is a history of modern france

1 of 1 people found this review helpful