The Revolutionary Temper: Paris, 1748-1789

Written by:
Robert Darnton
Narrated by:
Andrew J. Andersen

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2024
21 hours 0 minutes
When a Parisian crowd stormed the Bastille in July 1789, it triggered an event of global consequence: the overthrow of the monarchy and the birth of a new society. Most historians account for the French Revolution by viewing it in retrospect as the outcome of underlying conditions such as a faltering economy, social tensions, or the influence of Enlightenment thought. But what did Parisians themselves think they were doing-how did they understand their world? What were the motivations and aspirations that guided their actions? In this dazzling history, Robert Darnton addresses these questions by drawing on decades of close study to conjure a past as vivid as today's news. He explores eighteenth-century Paris as an information society much like our own. Through pamphlets, gossip, underground newsletters, and public performances, the events of some forty years all entered the collective consciousness of ordinary Parisians. As public trust in royal authority eroded and new horizons opened for them, Parisians prepared themselves for revolution.

Darnton's authority and sure judgment enable listeners to confidently navigate the complexities of controversies over court politics, Church doctrine, and the economy. And his luminous prose creates an immersive listening experience. Here is a riveting narrative that succeeds in making the past a living presence.
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