Hippolyte Taine's The French Revolution, which is written from the viewpoint of conservative French opinion, is a unique and important contribution to revolutionary historiography in which Taine condemns the radicals of the French Revolution, freely contradicting the rosy, Rousseauesque view of the Revolution. Taine approached the Revolution in the same way that a medical doctor approaches a disease. Indeed, he described his work not so much as a history as a 'pathology' of the Revolution. By investigating the French and the English, Taine contrasted the English ability to conserve and even to expand liberty through gradual adaptation to changing circumstances, with a 'French spirit' that became his central explanation of the French revolutionary phenomenon. This phenomenon explained, Taine argued why France 'had demolished its national community well before the Revolution' -- thus making the Revolution not only inevitable, but also inevitably terrible. This book features an introduction, prefaces, bibliography, index, each volume has a separate table of contents, and volumes are presented in a slipcase.
Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) was a historian and philosopher who was one of the primary figures in French Positivism.