The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution brings together a sweeping range of expert and innovative contributions to offer engaging and thought-provoking insights into the history and historiography of this epochal event. Each chapter presents the foremost summations of academic thinking on key topics, along with stimulating and provocative interpretations and suggestions for future research directions.
Placing core dimensions of the history of the French Revolution in their transnational and global contexts, the contributors demonstrate that revolutionary times demand close analysis of sometimes tiny groups of key political actors - whether the king and his ministers or the besieged leaders of the Jacobin republic - and attention to the deeply local politics of both rural and urban populations. Identities of class, gender and ethnicity are interrogated, but so too are conceptions and practices linked to citizenship, community, order, security, and freedom: each in their way just as central to revolutionary experiences, and equally amenable to critical analysis and reflection.
This volume covers the structural and political contexts that build up to give new views on the classic question of the 'origins of revolution'; the different dimensions of personal and social experience that illuminate the political moment of 1789 itself; the goals and dilemmas of the period of constitutional monarchy; the processes of destabilisation and ongoing conflict that ended that experiment; the key issues surrounding the emergence and experience of 'terror'; and the short- and long-term legacies, for both good and ill, of the revolutionary trauma - for France, and for global politics.