Sunday, August 15, 2010

The French Revolution

I had so much to do this weekend. All I managed to do in the end was book a trip to Graz and read "The French Revolution" by Christopher Hibbert. In my defense every true revolutionary need to know something about the French Revolutions, so the same mistakes are not made again.

Before I read this book, all I really knew about the French Revolution was that it started when Marie Antoinette said "let them eat cake." This is not mentioned in the book. In fact, I found out that Marie was actually Austrian, and that the guillotine was actually made by a German company (even that those pesky German exports went around the world). Also Robespierre was a fairly hard core Christain, but maybe not such a good Catholic. Before reading the book, I was also unsure what the connection was between "The Paris Commune" and the French revolution. Marx tried to learn the lesson of the "The Paris Comune", so I would like to do the same, now that I know what it was.

Ok, apart from these facts that maybe will be useful for a pub quiz one day, it was interesting to watch the various factions come and go from power. Also, it was important to watch popular opinion, particularly, when mass displeasure turns into the mob.