Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution is a book by the historian Simon Schama, published in , the bicentenary of the French Revolution. "The terror  Publisher‎: ‎Random House. Norman Hampson replies: It is unfortunate that Simon Schama should choose to regard as hostile a review of his book Citizens, that included. About Citizens. In this New York Times bestseller, award-winning author Simon Schama presents an ebullient country, vital and inventive.


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What the old Frenchman expressed in a pithy sentence, the Briton will tell a rambling story around. This is ok, narrative history is citizens schama, there is a hunger for it, but citizens schama even this is an indictment of Schama's offering - if he picked up after de Tocqueville you could cut four or five hundred pages from the book!

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Was Schama planning a sequel to this book? This is why I despair, the stories he citizens schama are entertaining but how do they fit into a big picture, is there a big picture, why is Schama writing about Talleyrand and not somebody else, is there a creative intelligence somewhere in the universe making a conscious decision to include or exclude certain details, and what are the criteria that determine citizens schama choice?


Simply calling the book 'a citizens schama doesn't escape this issue because there is always a degree of selection hide spoiler ]. Toward the very end he comes up with the idea of the revolution as process that creates the concept of being a citizen in France, I feel that's a great idea, I suspect somebody has in Peasants into Frenchmen written something along those lines view spoiler [ but since citizens schama is a paraphrase of de Tocqueville with some other stuff, rewriting somebody else's book isn't such a radical citizens schama hide spoiler ], and that to make that concept congruent with the entire book one would need to rewrite the whole thing view spoiler [ not necessarily by Monday afternoon though, and it would make better sense of the title hide spoiler ].

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama

So my overall impression of this book is mild citizens schama, there are lots of interesting books in here that could have been written, but just not the one that Schama did write. In any citizens schama because the French revolution is the birth of our contemporary era, it is a very resonant subject, the response to the death of Marat at the hands of Charlotte Corday put me in mind of Lenin Lives and how the ideology of martyrdom is so powerful to us.

The efforts of the Revolutionary regime to turn France into an arms factory suggest Mao in China having everybody melt down their pots and pans to turn China into the world's leading steal producer.

Revolutionary France as exemplar. The narrative of the Revolution citizens schama arising out of a conflict between the spread of a Capitalist mode citizens schama working and a paternalistic mode, which it fails to resolve is incarnated on a human scale in Robespierre the supporter of mass executions who began as an opponent of capital punishment.

I received this book as a gift and it means a lot to me as it is a theme which puts an edge on the teeth, the Enlightenment dream merges into the sleep of reason and we see ourselves in citizens schama mirrorHeine, and his Ideen.

Citizens by Simon Schama |

Das Buch Le Grand is the one citizens schama turn to. It is a mess, sometimes a fun mess, but it relies on length as a proxy for authoritativeness, he is also vague on dates, and I suspect deliberately so, so without reference to some other source the inter citizens schama between events in different places is lost.

Schama insists, was troubled more by addiction to change than by resistance to it. Indeed, he argues, revolutionary violence was citizens schama more by hostility to modernization, attempted or proposed, than by the will to speed it forward.

citizens schama

Like the elite, government was less interested in tradition than in novelty and greater efficiency. The bureaucratic personnel of the 's would be recalled to office by Napoleon in the late 's, citizens schama mend the mess the Revolution left behind.

Queen Marie Antoinette was lampooned as Madame Deficit, but expenditure on all Court items, 6 or 7 percent of the total budget, was about half what the British spent on their monarchy.

There were serious problems, similar to those faced by other contemporary regimes: But the root of the fiscal problems was the cost of citizens schama, coupled with resistance to new taxes.

Bydebt service accounted for almost half of current revenues. citizens schama


But citizens schama 18th-century perspective, even this huge debt was neither exceptional nor unmanageable.

And those who citizens schama to manage it on the King's behalf were more than empty heads presiding over empty purses. Nevertheless, aggressive, reforming managers in high office did not manage to reform; and the money crisis turned into the political crisis that led the monarchy to its end.

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution - Wikipedia

In my view, Mr. Schama underestimates structural problems that no 18th-century regime effectively coped with. But he is right to shift blame for citizens schama from structural dysfunctions to ''circumstances and citizens schama - that is, to men and, above all, to a well-meaning but indecisive King, who was addicted to changing ministers in midstream.

In Louis XVI, royal irresolution produced political incoherence. With no two ministers following the same strategy, fiscal policies especially were inconsistent and ineffective. Meanwhile, it became clear that true fiscal reforms could be achieved only with the support of representative bodies.

But the re-creation of an assembly representative enough to save France from bankruptcy aggravated the crisis such an assembly was supposed to solve.