The Revolutionary Temper: Paris, 1748-1789

Robert Darnton

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


A brilliant account of the coming of the French Revolution, and the culminating work of this most distinguished historian.

When a Parisian crowd stormed the Bastille in July 1789, it triggered the overthrow of the monarchy and the birth of a new society. In retrospect we understand the French Revolution as the outcome of such factors as a faltering economy and Enlightenment thought. But what did the Parisians themselves think they were doing—how did they understand their world? In this dazzling history, Robert Darnton draws on decades of study to conjure a past as vivid as today’s news. He explores eighteenth-century Paris as an information society like our own, its news circuits centered in cafés, on park benches, and under the Palais-Royal’s Tree of Cracow. Through pamphlets, gossip, and public performances, the events of some forty years—from disastrous treaties and royal debauchery to thrilling hot-air balloon ascents—entered the churning collective consciousness of ordinary Parisians. With public trust eroding as new aspirations soared, Parisians prepared themselves for revolution.

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old regime, 18th century, ancien regime, versailles, france, news, bastille, french, information, parisians, feudalism, media, king, revolution