This book provides students and general readers with a history of France during the Revolution and Empire. It includes a narrative of events from the fall of the Bastille to the defeat of Napoleon, and a compelling analysis of why the revolution occurred.The book explains how the French Revolution encountered opposition not only from the privileged but also from the common people. It examines and analyzes various forms of resistance that arose when it became apparent that the hopes of 1789 could not be realized. The Terror of 1793 - 4 aimed to annihilate this resistance and remake human nature, but its violence and financial policies crippled successor governments and liberal institutions. Amidst a new round of war and domestic subversion, Napoleon eventually restored order but at the expense of many of the ideals of 1789.
D.M.G. Sutherland has been Professor of History at the University of Maryland since 1986. Before that, he taught in Canada and in the United Kingdom. His first book The Chouans: A Social History of Popular Counterrevolution in Upper Brittany, 1780-1795 (1982) received honourable mention from the Canadian Historical Association. He also shared the Koren Prize awarded by the Society for French Historical Society for the best article in a given year. He has received a number of other awards and fellowships of which the most recent is the Guggenheim Fellowship for 2001-02.