The History of Modern France From the Revolution to the Present Day With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provi

  • Title: The History of Modern France: From the Revolution to the Present Day
  • Author: Jonathan Fenby
  • ISBN: 9781471129292
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Hardcover
  • With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyses the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution thWith the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyses the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution through two others, a return of Empire, three catastrophic wars with Germany, periods of stability and hope interspersed with years of uncertainty and high tensions As her cross Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood and stands for That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.

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    One thought on “The History of Modern France: From the Revolution to the Present Day”

    1. Superbly written, concise, full of facts and details, and interesting pieces of information. France's history is truly complex but ever so fascinating and Jonathan Fenby makes it accessible and very, very readable. If history is your thing, make sure to read this one.

    2. The History of Modern France – Definitive & MajesticJonathan Fenby former editor of The Observer and the South China Morning Post has written one of the best and most current histories on France. The History of Modern France – from revolution to the present day is the most definitive, majestic and lucid history of modern France that one can read today, written with an eye to the detail presented to the general reader as well as historian. From this book we not only are able to view the p [...]

    3. Observing the newly restored Bourbon King Louis XVIII’s reluctant choice of ministers, the devious Talleyrand leaning on the arm of brutal Fouché , Chateaubriand described “vice leaning on the arm of crime”. A Christmas Eve dinner during the Prussian siege of Paris in 1871 included, elephant consommé and bear ribs in pepper sauce from slaughtered zoo animals, along with the more mundane stuffed donkey’ s head and roast cat with rats. These entertaining asides spice up Jonathan Fenby’ [...]

    4. Fenby's History of Modern France is written from a somewhat elitist view. Fenby concerns himself mainly with a lot of namedropping of leading French politicians, musicians, authors, painters, film makers and actors and actresses, sometimes offering so many names on one page that it comes close to resembling a page from a phone directory.The book is thin on social and historical context. Fenby concerns himself a lot with what went on in Parisian political and societal circles but leaves the reade [...]

    5. A detail heavy history that focuses on politics. If, like me, you know plenty about the culture, but don't really understand how Gaul was so important, this is the book for you. If you know about the politics, but not the culture, you'll find this book pretty much useless--a list of names doesn't really tell you anything about French philosophy, literature or art, and the cultural history more or less peters out in the '70s. If you think knowing about political history is pointless because botto [...]

    6. Interesting overview of the history of France from the revolution to modern times. Heavy focus on personalities of key politicians and political forces. Romps through everything rather quickly so I found myself having to go back a bit and work out what was going on. I would have preferred more social history to show what life was like for ordianry men and women -particularly outside Paris. Good introduction but not for those looking for depth on any period.

    7. One who is looking to wind the way through the story of five republics, two monarchies, a commune, a second empire, Vichy, and the Resistance will find this a compelling read. The text is solid and accessible. A worthy book for someone looking to improve an uncertain understanding of France after 1815.

    8. This book is disappointing because it shows no analysis of Modern France's history. The facts are correct but are not enough put in perspective to explain their consequences and how it shaped France as we know it today.

    9. A fair overview of the history of France. Fenby breezed over more fascinating events in French history in order to provide a broad overview. Too much a stickler for economic statistics and less attention on the cultural/social trends. Good bibliography and notes.

    10. People seem to love this book but I found myself lost in the pace of it. I don't feel enough was explained--it was just drawn, so to speak.

    11. I got this book just ahead of my study-year in Normandy, France and I did never suspect to finish it as fast as I did. The book is quite the brick consisting of chronologically ordered anecdotes, events and trivia carefully selected by the author which is equally well-informed as he is a good writer. For everyone interested in France, European history or just history in general, I recommend this book. Huge events, such as the Revolution, is nuanced with little known information drawn from letter [...]

    12. Mr. Fenby gives a fine outline of French history from the revolution of 1789 to the present day. French politicians seem always to have had a flair for the dramatic, with tales of gluttony, erotic asphyxiation and pride bordering on the ridiculous - never a dull moment!. When recounting the lives of kings, presidents or emperors, the author does not forget to mention their favourite dish or preferred tipple.

    13. Meget passende at få lidt styr på fransk historie nu, hvor terror foregår i Frankrig. Desværre er bogens første 50 sider ikke så lovende. Det anekdotiske fylder mere end jeg kan lide.Efter 100 sider erklærer jeg bogen for en nitte. Gider sgu da ikke høre om at aktørerne har en nasal stemme og gifter sig med en 16 årig og spiller billard, når det ikke i øvrigt er relevant for fortællingen. Det er kedeligt at læse og får mig til at tvivle på forfatterens dømmekraft.

    14. Lively, gossipy, but more than adequately informative history of modern France. France's quandry is uniquely fascinating because of the combination of revolutionary heritage, her central place in Western Civilization and current entanglements with global Islamist terrorism and the crisis of global capitalism.

    15. Well written by former Economist correspondent in Paris. Informative and well paced, spanning from the Revolution to Hollande. Reporting political history, nice small biographies from Le Tigre Clemencau to The General De Gaulle. I've learned a lot, and thats why one should read this book (and the love for France).

    16. After reading this, France somehow feels like the world's most successful banana republic with chaotic succession of monarchs, republics and dictators. The revolution smashed the monarchy, and a series of aftershocks kept knocking down everything that followed. The history of France is not boring and Fenby tells the story well. This is a very good piece of broad view history.

    17. The statement in the New York Times review that the book is "two hundred years wide and half an inch deep" is accurate. A general review which gets bogged down in details without providing an overall narrative in places such as the years after the revolution and before Napoleon. Otherwise it is very readable. The conclusions as to the present situation are pessimistic and I believe overly so.

    18. Very good, brisk, covers a lot of ground intelligently and with a fact pace. Not comprehensive or fully authoritative, but what single book on the subject could be?

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