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Publisher's Summary

In 1789 a group of sober-minded, concerned citizens set in motion a series of events which were to end up leading to the deaths of thousands of perfectly innocent persons. How did this reasonable movement of level-headed civic leaders spin out of control? At a glance, the French Revolution appears a bewildering series of political factions sweeping in and out of power, massacre and counter-massacre, terror and guillotine, and one economic crisis following another. Leo Gershoy, one of the 20th-century's most knowledgeable scholars on the revolution, has written a condensed version of his more famous work by the same name.

With this condensed volume, listeners will more easily be able to put the French Revolution into greater perspective and gain real insight into its causes and devastating effects. Learn what role famous men like Robespierre, Danton, and Marat played in these momentous events. Discover how the young Napoleon Bonaparte came to the aid of the revolutionaries...and then betrayed them. The French Revolution was one of the most important events in European history. Like a searing thunderbolt, it separates Medieval Europe from Modern Europe. And after more than 200 years, the revolution continues to affect us today.

©2005 Audio Connoisseur

What members say

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Larry
  • Westlake, LA, United States
  • 11-15-05

A good overview

This presents a good overview of the revolution. However, I was really expecting some more details as to what type of men were running the revolution. This seamed more like a summary of all the events in chronological order. Yes it was informative in a way, but I finished the book feeling like I really wanted to know more about the men behind the revolution instead of the typical events that surrounded it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • 11-17-06

Really Disappointing

I should have known that an "unabridged" study of the French Revolution that was only 3+ hours wouldn't be worth the time it took to download and listen to. Can I request Simon Schama's "Citizens" (unabridged, of course)?

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lee
  • El Segundo, CA, USA
  • 07-28-06

very bad

I was surprised at how bad this book was. The author just narrates history in stunted way, not making a serious effort to interpret or draw connections between events. But perhaps I was so bored by the tedious writing style that I didn't notice anything more.

The narration is ponderous and pretentious.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Ponderous

History in sloooow motion. Pretentious reading weighs down a great subject.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Pompous and unenlightening

This audiobook combines a 50,000-foot view of the French Revolution with the worst, most pompous, unbearable narration I've heard yet (made even worse by the melodramatic music soundtrack).

The book teaches the reader astonishingly little about the various actors involved in the revolution or their motivations. Instead it describes the events in terms so overbroad (the peasants did this; the nobility did that) as to reduce this period to a "Risk" game between faceless factions of 18th century French society. Worse, it offers so little real insight that it fulfills virtually none of the best purpose of studying such a bloody period: to avoid repeating it.

I give it a "2" because there certainly are many books on the market that are worse. But as a learning experience, this rates a zero.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-12

Find something more modern

If I remember correctly, the hard copy version of this book was pubished in the 1970s. Not to sound too condescending or prejudiced towards past eras, but this book is turgid. It feels like a university undergraduate's key resource.

That may be no bad thing. It is accurate and throws facts and events at you at a steady rate.

However, it doesn't bring a tumultuous era to life!

Modern history retelling is now communicated more like a soap-opera, it may be overdone but, in many ways, it is no bad thing. This book moves from event to event, fact to fact, person to person, without anything feeling more significant than the last. Huge events are often over very quickly. This might be historically accurate, but it misses the opportunity to hook into the aspects that people connect with - events that are culturally significant, the bigger picture, interesting characters and interpersonal drama.

Having become used to a more modern and engaging retelling of history this audiobook falls flat. It is a textbook, not a journey,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful