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This is a comprehensive history of the French Revolution of 1789. Published to mark the bicentenary of its outbreak, this survey draws on a generation of extensive research and scholarly debate to reappraise the most famous of all revolutions. Opening with the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, the book traces the history of France through revolution, terror and counter-revolution, to the triumph of Napoleon in 1802. It analyzes the impact of events both in France itself and the rest of Europe. William Doyle shows how a movement which began with optimism and general enthusiasm soon became a tragedy, not only for the ruling orders, but for the millions of ordinary people all over Europe whose lives were disrupted by religious upheaval, and civil and international war. It was they who paid the price for the destruction of the old political order and the struggle to establish a new one, based on the ideals of liberty and revolution, in the face of widespread indifference and hostility.
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