The Paris Commune was the biggest and last popular revolution in western Europe - ending the cycle of revolutions that started in 1789. The Parisians, reeling from defeat in the Franco-Prussian War set up their own revolutionary administration. Government troops eventually retook the city and took a terrible revenge: thousands died in the bloodbath that followed. The short-lived Commune and its repression cast a long shadow. It exposed deep divisions in French society and became a potent inspiration for the radical left. This stirring new study written with great zest, and a vivid sense of time and place lets the reader experience these tumultuous events at first hand and provides a comprehensive synthesis of recent research in both French and English.
Prologue: The Communes - A Narrative Introduction. 1. Paris bivouac of the revolution. 2. From people's war to people's revolution June 1870-March 1871. 3. `The political form at last discovered'? The Commune as government
4. A new revolutionary people? 5. The Last Struggle. 6. Consequences, Representations and Meanings. 7. Conclusion. Guide to Further Reading. Chronology.