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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins Mark Wright, Pixie Lott and Judy Murray in line-up
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage