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Shadows of Revolution: Reflections on France, Past and Present

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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 Dur?e"; 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.

Author: Bell David
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9780190262686
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2016

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 Süss: 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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