The Reading List: Revolutions
Tuesday 15 February 2011
The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848 by Eric Hobsbawm. Peter Smith £12.99
The first instalment of his four-part epic chronicling Europe from 1789 to 1991, Age Of Revolution is a classic in its field. It explores the manifold changes wrought during the period – which witnessed both the British Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution – and demonstrates how Europe established its place as the pre-eminent global power of the era.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Penguin £8.99
Paine's pamphlet is one of the most famous pieces of mischief-making in history. Written in an accessible (for the time) style and taking advantage of advances in mass printing, Common Sense fermented American revolutionary sentiment with its convincing argument for freedom from British rule.
The French Revolution by William Blake (The Poetical Works Of William Blake). Kessinger Publishing £26.95
Originally intended to be seven books in length, only one part of Blake's work has been made public. In it, he discusses the problems of the French monarchy, church and feudal system and advocates the destruction of the Bastille in the name of freedom. Though meant more as a work of history than of polemic, The French Revolution still caused controversy. Its printer, Joseph Johnson, was imprisoned – which may explain the absence of the final six parts.
1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. Vintage £9.99
1968 was the year that saw both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinated, while students took to the streets in protest at the Vietnam war. In Europe, French protesters were bringing down de Gaulle's government while Soviet tanks were forced to deal with rebellion in Prague. Mark Kurlansky examines the many and varied events that distinguished 1968.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Wordsworth Editions £1.99
Dickens' epic work dwells the plight of the peasantry in pre-Revolutionary France – as well as the post-Revolutionary violence – drawing comparison with London's poor. He follows several protagonists, including Charles Darnay, a French aristocrat who, despite his virtue, falls victim to ill-treatment at the hands of the Republicans.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage from Lana Del Rey rape video
Claudia Winkleman returns to Strictly Come Dancing as daughter recovers from Halloween fire accident
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'