Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies : France, 1789/1989
The interpretation of the French Revolution has long been the most contentious issue in French history.
How the Revolution should be remembered has been the focus of debates concerned as much with France's future as with its past. Kaplan both reviews these debates and reconstructs - in sometimes hilarious detail - events leading up to the official commemoration. Bringing to bear the skills of the archival historian and the ethnographer, he masterfully explains how a particular political culture attempts to come to terms with its past. As he sketches a provocative picture of politics in France today, he has much to say about more general relationships between memory and collective identity, history and politics.
Farewell, Revolution is based on massive research, including interviews with leading players on the French cultural and political scene. Kaplan vividly describes the evolution not only of the bicentennial celebration in Paris but also of regional festivities and commemorative activities among the French Communists.
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