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Peter McPhee has written the first full scholarly study of rural politics in France during the Second Republic (1848-1852). The Revolution of 1848 and the subsequent regime changed the face of mass politics in France; unprecedented numbers of French men and women participated in legal and illegal forms of political activity during a period of protracted crisis ultimately resolved by a military coup d'etat. In exploring the neglected history of rural France in this period, the book draws on hundreds of regional studies to examine the large-scale political mobilizations of right and left in the countryside, and offers a new synthesis and interpretation of these years. Dr McPhee shows that rural politics were both more complex and more threatening to urban elites than has been generally recognized, and provides a lucid and scholarly analysis of a turbulent period in modern French history and its long-term social and political consequences.