1st Edition

The French Revolution
Faith, Desire and Politics

ISBN 9780415660211
Published November 14, 2013 by Routledge
274 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The French Revolution was one of the greatest events in world history, filled with remarkable characters and dramatic events. From its beginning in 1789 to the Reign of Terror in 1793–94, and through the ups and downs of the Directory era that followed, the Revolution showed humanity at its optimistic best and its violent worst; it transformed the lives of all who experienced it.

The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics offers a fresh treatment of this perennially popular and hugely significant topic, introducing a bold interpretation of the Revolution that highlights the key role that religion and sexuality played in determining the shape of the Revolution. These were issues that occupied the minds and helped shape the actions of women and men; from the pornographic pamphlets about queen Marie-Antoinette to the puritanical morality of revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, from the revolutionary catechisms that children learned and to the anathemas hurled on the Revolution from clandestine priests in the countryside. The people who lived through the French Revolution were surrounded by messages about gender, sex, religion and faith, concerns which did not exist outside of the events of the Revolution.

This book is an essential resource for students of the French Revolution, History of Catholicism and Women and Gender.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Religious Culture, Popular Culture: Life in Old Regime France

Chapter 2: The Liberal Revolution of 1789 (Spring 1789-Spring 1790)

Chapter 3: The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (Summer 1790-Winter 1791)

Chapter 4: The King's Flight and the Decline of the French Monarchy (Summer 1791-Summer 1792)

Chapter 5: The End of the Monarchy and the September Massacres (Summer 1792-Fall 1792)

Chapter 6: The New French Republic and its Rivalries (Winter 1793-Summer 1793)

Chapter 7: The Federalist Revolt, the Vendée, and the Start of the Terror (Summer 1793-Fall 1793)

Chapter 8: The Reign of Terror (Winter 1794-Summer 1794)

Chapter 9: The Fall of Robespierre and the Return to Normalcy (Fall 1794-1800)

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Noah C. Shusterman is Assistant Professor in the departments of History and Intellectual Heritage at Temple University, USA.  His previous works include Religion and the Politics of Time: Holidays from Louis XVI  to Napoleon (2010).


'A lively and well-written survey of the French Revolution that would have a lot to offer students starting their study of this major topic' - Nigel Aston, University of Leicester, UK

'While the volume is bound to engage (and perhaps enrage some) specialists, its greatest utility lies in its clean, brisk narrative that serves to explain the tumultuous events of the Great Revolution. A solid acquisition for undergraduate collections. Summing Up: Highly Recommended'. - G. P. Cox, Gordon State College in CHOICE.

"Shusterman concentrates on narrative and provides an animated and detailed introduction for those starting to study the Revolution. His unique focus on the interaction of religion and gender helps to demonstrate what exactly was revolutionary about the upheavals of 1789 and beyond." -Louise Seaward, University of Sheffield