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Citizens:

A Chronicle of the French Revolution

  • Runtime: 36.8 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 5.20.2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio
  • Genre: Nonfiction/History
  • 36.78 hrs5/20/2012Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4551-6968-9
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45 day rental Learn more

A New York Times Bestseller

One of Time Magazine Best Books of the Decade

From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change. Schama’s approach, weaving in and out of private and public lives in the fashion of a novel, brings us closer than we have ever been to the harrowing and seductive French Revolution.

Editorial Reviews

“Lively descriptions of major events, colorful cameos of leading characters (and obscure ones too), bring them to life here as no other general work has done…Above all, Mr. Schama tells a story, and he tells it well…A delight to read.”

New York Times Book Review

“We are in the hands of a master storyteller…Vivid, dramatic, thought-provoking…Schama’s portrait of the revolution is often surprising…His splendid recounting convinces us that much of what we thought we knew is wrong.”

Time

“A fresh and elegant narrative…A brilliantly readable and beautifully illustrated account.”

Washington Post Book World

“Dazzling…Stimulating…This is no ordinary book…Schama does not merely write brilliantly about people, about events, about the abuse of rhetoric, and about festivals and executions…A stunningly virtuoso performance.”

New Republic

“Entertainment and erudition work hand in hand…Schama brings to life the excitement—and harrowing terror—of an epochal human event.”

Newsweek

“[A] sprawling, provocative, sometimes infuriating chronicle that stands much conventional wisdom on its head.”

Publishers Weekly

“The appearance of this book is certain to be one of the main publishing events of the bicentennial year of the French Revolution. It blends gritty details about everyday life with an old-fashioned, dramatic narrative form…Schama’s book will please scholars and a wide general readership.”

Library Journal

“Well-written, thoroughly documented…Schama presents Talleyrand, Lafayette, and others with more understanding than they are given in most histories, setting them amidst a web of violence of their own making. This book speaks to today’s world, as nations strive to move from despotism to democracy.”

School Library Journal

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    • 4/5

    History that excels in the details

    E.B. March 18, 2015
    Great writing, well-researched. The author's perspective is more counter-revolutionary than I would like, but with that bias in mind it's a fine read.
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Author Biography

Simon Schama is a professor of art history and history at Columbia University and is the author of numerous award-winning books; his history Rough Crossings won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. He has been a cultural essayist for the New Yorker and has written and presented more than thirty documentaries for the BBC, PBS, and the History Channel, including The Power of Art, which won the 2007 International Emmy for Best Arts Programming.

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Reader Biography

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.

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