Challenging classical histories of the French Revolution, this revisionist work argues that any history and analysis of the period must give as much weight to counterrevolution as to revolution itself. Sutherland demonstrates that the effects of the Revolution varied greatly according to regional economies, social structures, and religious affiliations. For example, while many groups--particularly urban groups--benefited from the revolutionary reforms of 1789-91, there were many others--such as the rural poor--whose condition markedly deteriorated. The book examines how massive counterrevolutionary movements profoundly affected the course of the Revolution, leading to the failure of constitutional government and ultimately, to an elitist dictatorship that paved the way for many of the struggles of the 19th century.
"A very good overview of the period."--Christine Adams, St. Mary's College of Maryland
"[A] useful revisionist interpretation of the Revolution."--Anthony Di Iorio, Georgetown University
"Marvelous. That rare textbook that is also an exemplary piece of scholarship, working a thesis, argument, and evidence into a topic that in lesser books would settle into little but narrative. Also extremely useful because it acknowledges the Napoleonic era as part of the Revolutionary period."--Robert S. Babcock, Hastings College