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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

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Average Customer Ratings

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Strikingly Great

This ranks as one of the best Great Courses I have taken so far. In full disclosure, I was a history major, so I really enjoy learning more about history. I have yet to take a history class in the Great Courses series that I did not like, but this one stands out as one of the best so far. I took a course in college that had the same title as this one. Unfortunately, my college professor got so bogged down in the French politics that he lost the bigger picture and almost completely glossed over Napoleon. I was apprehensive about the same being true in this course, but I was very happy that was not the case. The professor's presentation style was both enthusiastic and exciting. She covered the origins of the French Revolution, the outbreak of the Revolution, the consequences and the rise of Napoleon. She then covered Napoleon's reign and the upheaval it caused in Europe and North America (including triggering the events leading to the Louisiana Purchase in America). She ended with an eye-opening discussion of the long-term consequences of the Revolution leading up to the present day. This was well-worth my time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great lecture series!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If anyone is interested in The Great Courses, nonfiction, history, or the French Revolution, I'd definitely recommend this lecture series. Prof. Desan's presentation is clear, organized, energetic, and well-delivered -- one of the best Great Courses/Modern Scholar/Teaching Company history series I've encountered.

I found the content on Haiti especially interesting as the question of European revolutionary ideals and how it applies to their colonial practices is definitely an important question that most readings on the French Revolution don't even try to tackle.

Have you listened to any of Professor Suzanne M. Desan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

If Prof. Desan had any other lecture series available and Audible carried them, I'd definitely give it a go. There are a few lecturers with several titles, but unfortunately Prof. Desan is not one of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best Lectures Ever!

This was the best series of lectures I've heard in a very very long time! Loved hearing about the French Revolution and how it impacted Europe and the Americas and all of the world. She made it hard not to listen! She is a great story teller! I listened for 6 hours on a road trip, it was that engaging! It also answered the question for me where Les Miserables fit in this period of history. I highly recommend this lecture series to all my friends!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous!

I listened to this before an upcoming trip to Paris. Wow! I had no idea just how exciting and pivotal the French Revolution was for France — and all of Europe! The lecturer is excellent; she really brings things. Alive. Organization is also excellent. Thanks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • Perth, Australia
  • 10-31-14

Riveting

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An effective overview of the French Revolution

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Overview of French Rev. and Napoleon

Any additional comments?

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!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Georgia
  • Fairhaven, Australia
  • 02-27-14

Excellent Lectures!

Would you consider the audio edition of Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon to be better than the print version?

This is a thrilling story and is beautifully told.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Narrator. She is funny and insightful.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't choose.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great course!!<br />

Great course. Very interesting and instructive.
I enjoy it s lot
Nice overview of French and world history of the XVIII and IXX centuries

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expansive

had already known something about the French Revolution. This had some more facts than I had known of covered a lot of Napoleons reign that I didn't know about. wish it was more focused on 1789-94 and more in depth. but it was still really good.