Shadows of Revolution: Reflections on France, Past and Present

ISBN : 9780190262686

David A. Bell
456 ページ
156 x 235 mm

David Bell wrote the essays in this collection over the course of more than fifteen years, each in response to a new book or political event and published in the New Republic, New York Review of Books, or London Review of Books. Their common thread is France and French history, of which Bell is one of the world's acknowledged experts. Shadows of Revolution is divided into seven sections: The "Longue Duree"; From the Old Regime to the Revolution; The Revolution; Napoleon Bonaparte; The Nineteenth Century; Vichy; and Parallels: Past and Present. Bell argues that so much of French (and European) history revolves around and returns to the French Revolution of 1789 to 1799. So much happened in so short a time that Chateaubriand later claimed that many centuries had crammed themselves into a single quarter-century. Bell's other main focus is World War Two and the French Vichy regime. He has followed the long and painful process by which the French have come to terms with their collaboration with Nazi Germany, including the creation of monuments to the Holocaust, exhibitions devoted to Vichy and the fate of the French Jews, and the speech that President Jacques Chirac gave in 1995, finally recognizing French responsibility for the deportation of Jews to the death camps. In its way, each of the essays in this collection-Bell's first book of the kind-reflects upon the ways that political and cultural patterns first set in the age of the Revolution continue to resonate, not just in France, but throughout the world.


The Longue Duree
From the Old Regime to the Revolution
The Revolution
Napoleon Bonaparte
The Nineteenth Century
Parallels: Past and Present


Benjamin Ross was president of Maryland's Action Committee for Transit for 15 years, which grew under his leadership into the nation's largest grass-roots transit advocacy group. He is a consultant on environmental problems and served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and EPA Science Advisory Board. He writes frequently on political and social topics in Dissent Magazine and is the author of The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment.