Rethinking the Age of Revolutions: France and the Birth of the Modern World

ISBN : 9780190674793

David A. Bell; Yair Mintzker
304 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2018
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Much of the historiography on the age of democratic revolutions has seemed to come to a halt until recent years. Historians of this period have tried to develop new explanatory paradigms but there are few that have had a lasting impact. David A. Bell and Yair Mintzker seek to break through the narrow views of this period with research that reaches beyond the traditional geographical and chronological boundaries of the subject. Rethinking the Age of Revolutions brings together some of the most exciting and important research now being done on the French Revolutionary era, by prominent historians from North America and France. Adopting a variety of approaches, and tackling a wide variety of subjects, such as natural rights in the early modern world, the birth of celebrity culture and the phenomenon of modern political charisma, among others, this collection shows the continuing vitality and importance of the field. This is an important book not only for specialists, but for anyone interested in the origins of some of the most important issues in the politics and culture of the modern West.


1. Nature or Nation? Rights Conflicts in the Age of the French Revolution
Dan Edelstein
2. Every Island is not Haiti: The French Revolution in the Windward Islands
Paul Friedland
3. The Politics of Popularity: Celebrity Culture and the French Revolution
Antoine Lilti
4. Charismatic Authority in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France
David A. Bell
5. The Fate of Nations is the Work of Genius: The French Revolution and the Great Man Theory of History
Darrin McMahon
6. New History: The Radical Pasts of the French Revolution, 1789-1794
Joseph Zizek
7. The Thermidorians' Terror: Atrocities, Tragedies, Trauma
Howard G. Brown
8. Of Revolutions and the Problem of Choice
Sophia Rosenfeld

About the author: 

David A. Bell received his AB from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He is a historian of early modern France and the French Revolution. His work has received prizes that include the Gershoy Prize of the American Historical Association, and the Gottschalk Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He writes regularly for general interest magazines. Yair Mintzker is a historian of early modern and modern Europe. He received his M.A. from Tel-Aviv University (2003) and his Ph.D. from Stanford (2009). His latest book is The Many Deaths of Jew Suss: The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew (2017), which was named a 2017 Book of the Year by the Financial Times.

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