French Revolution

Check out our French Revolution Reading List – two lists of top texts to read on the French Revolution compiled by David Andress and Rebecca Spang.

Adler, Ken. Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763- 1815University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Alpaugh, Micah. Non-violence and the French Revolution: Political Demonstrations in Paris, 1787-1795Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Andress, David. French Society in Revolution, 1789-1799. Manchester University Press, 1999.

—, ed. The Oxford Handbook to the French RevolutionOxford University Press, 2016. 

—. The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Aston, Nigel. Christianity and Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1830. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

—. Religion and Revolution in France, 1780-1804. Catholic University of America Press, 2000.

Aulard, F. –A., and Bernard Miall. The French Revolution: A Political History, 1789-1804. Russell & Russell, 1986.

Baecque, Antoine de. Glory and Terror: Seven Deaths under the French Revolution. Routledge, 2001.

—. The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770-1800. Stanford University Press, 1997.

Baker, Keith Michael. The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture: International Conference: Papers. Pergamon P., 1994. Vol. 1-4

—. Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Bell, David, The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680-1800. Harvard University Press, 2001.

—. Lawyers and Citizens: The Making of a Political Elite in Old Regime France. Oxford University Press, 1994.

—. Napoleon: A Concise Biography. Oxford University Press, 2016.

—. Shadows of Revolution: Reflections on France, Past and PresentOxford University Press, 2016.

—. The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Making of the Modern World. Houghton Mifflin Co, 2007.

Blanning, T. C. W. The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802. London: Arnold, 1996.

—. “The Role of Religion in European Counter-Revolution, 1789-1815.” In History, Society, and the Churches, eds. Derek Beales and Geoffrey Best.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Blaufarb, Rafe. The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property. Oxford University Press, 2016. 

—. The French Army, 1750-1820: Careers, Talent, Merit. Manchester University Press, 2002.

Brown, Howard G.  Ending the French Revolution: Violence, Justice and Repression from the Terror to Napoleon.  University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Brown, Steward J. and Timothy Tackett.  The Cambridge History Christianity: Enlightenment, Reawakening, and Revolution, 1660-1815. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Campbell, Peter Robert. The Origins of the French Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Censer, Jack. Prelude to Power: The Parisian Radical Press, 1789-1791. (John Hopkins University Press, 1976.

—. Press and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary France. University of California Press, 1987.

Chartier, Roger. The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane. Duke University Press, 1991.

Clay, Richard. Iconoclasm in Revolutionary Paris: The Transformation of SignsVoltaire Foundation, 2012.

Cobban, Alfred. The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution. Introduction by Gwynne Lewis. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Crook, Malcolm. Elections in the French Revolution: An Apprenticeship in Democracy, 1789-1799. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Davidson, Denise Z. France After Revolution: Urban Life, Gender, and the New Social Order. Harvard University Press, 2007.

Desan, Suzanne. The Family on Trial in Revolutionary France. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Desan, Suzanne, Lynn Hunt, and William Max Nelson. The French Revolution in Global Perspective.Cornell University Press, 2013.

Desan, Suzanne. Reclaiming the Sacred: Lay Religion and Popular Politics in Revolutionary France. Cornell University Press, 1990.

—. “Transatlantic Spaces of Revolution: The French Revolution, Sciotomanie, and American Lands.” Journal of Early Modern History, 12 (2008), 467-505.

—, “What’s after Political Culture? Recent French Revolutionary Historiography,” French Historical Studies (2000), 163-196.

Douthwaite, Julia V. The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary FranceUniversity of Chicago Press, 2012.  [French Version here]

Doyle, William. Origins of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press, 1980.

Doyle, William. Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press,  1989.

Edelstein, Dan. The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution. University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Fitzsimmons, Michael P. The Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789, and the French Revolution. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

Friedland, Paul. Political Actors: Representative Bodies and Theatricality in the Age of the French Revolution. Cornell University Press, 2002.

Furet, Francois, and Mona Ozouf. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1989.

Furet, François. Interpreting the French Revolution. Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Furet, Francois. Marx and the French Revolution. University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Garrioch, David. The Making of Revolutionary Paris. University of California Press, 2004. 

Gaspar, David Barry and David Patrick Geggus, eds. A Turbulent time: the French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean.  Indian University Press, 1997.

Godechot, Jacques Léon. The Counter-Revolution: Doctrine and Action, 1789-1804. H. Fertig, 1971.

Godineu, Dominique.  The Women of Paris and their French Revolution.  University of California Press, 1988.

Heuer, Jennifer Ngaire. The Family and the Nation: Gender and Citizenship in Revolutionary France, 1789-1830. Cornell University Press, 2005. 

Hufton, Olwen H. Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution. University of Toronto Press, 1992.

Hunt, Lynn.  The Family Romance of the French Revolution.  University of California Press, 1992.

Hunt, Lynn. “The French Revolution in Global Context.” In The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840, eds. David Armitage and Sanja Subrahmanyam. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Pp. 20-36.

Hunt, Lynn. Inventing Human Rights: A History. W.W. Norton, 2007.

Hunt, Lynn Avery. “The Many Bodies of Marie Antoinette: Political Pornography and the Problem of the Feminine in the French Revolution.” In Eroticism and the Body Politic, 108–130. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Hunt, Lynn Avery. Politics, Culture and Class during the French Revolution. University of California Press, 1984.

Israel, Jonathan I. Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from the Rights of Man to Robespierre. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Jones, Colin and Dror Wahrman, eds. The Age of Cultural Revolutions: Britain and France, 1750-1820.  University of California Press, 2002.

Jones, Colin. “The Great Chain of Buying: Medical Advertisement, the Bourgeois Public Sphere, and the Origins of the French Revolution.” The American Historical Review 101 (1996) 13-40.

Kaplan, Steven L. Farewell, Revolution: The Historians’ Feud : France, 1789/1989.Cornell University Press, 1995.

Kates, Gary, ed. The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies. Routledge, 1998.

Kennedy, Emmet. A Cultural History of the French Revolution. Yale University Press, 1989.

Landes, Joan B. Visualizing the Nation: Gender, Representation and Revolution in Eighteenth Century France. Cornell University Press, 2001.

—. Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution. Cornell University Press, 1988.

Lefebvre, Georges. The Coming of the French Revolution. Trans. by R.R. PalmerPrinceton University Press, 2005.

Levy, Darlene Gay, ed. Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795: Selected Documents.  University of Illinois Press, 1979.

Linton, Marisa. Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship, and Terror in the French Revolution. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Lyons, Martin. Napoleon Bonaparte and the Legacy of the French Revolution. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

Martin, Jean-Clément. Robespierre, la fabrication d’un monstre, Perrin, 2016.

—. Violence et Révolution. Essai sur la naissance d’un mythe national, Éditions du Seuil, 2006

Mathiez, Albert. The French Revolution. Russell & Russell, 1962.

Mattenson, Kieko. Forests in Revolutionary France: Conservation, Community, and Conflict, 1669-1848Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Mayer, Arno J. The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions.Princeton University Press, 2000.

Maza, Sarah C. The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie: An Essay on the Social Imaginary, 1750-1850. Harvard University Press, 2003.

McManners, John. The French Revolution and the Church. Harper & Row, 1970.

McPhee, Peter. Liberty or Death: The French RevolutionYale University Press, 2016. 

—. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life. Yale University Press, 2012.

Ozouf, Mona. Festivals and the French RevolutionHarvard University Press, 1988.

Palmer, R. R. Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution. Princeton University Press, 1970.

Plongeron, Bernard. Conscience religieuse en révolution. Regards sur l’historiographie religieuse de la Révolution française.  A. et J. Picard, 1969.

Popkin, Jeremy D. Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789-1799. Duke University Press, 1990.

—. A Short History of the French Revolution. Pearson, 2009.

Reichardt, Rolf and Hans Lusebrinck, The Bastille: the History of a Symbol of Despotism and Freedom. Duke University Press, 1997.

Reynolds, Siân. ed. Women, State, and Revolution: Essays on Power and Gender in Europe since 1789. University of Massachusetts Press, 1986.

Roberts, Warren. Jacques-Louis David, Revolutionary Artist: Art, Politics, and the French Revolution. University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

Rudé, George, The Crowd in the French RevolutionOxford University Press, 1968.

Sahlins, Peter. Unnaturally French: Foreign Citizens in the Old Regime and After. Cornell University Press, 2004.

Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. Vintage, 1990.

Schechter, Ronald. Obstinate Hebrews: Representations of Jews in France, 1715-1815University of California Press, 2003.

Scott, Joan. Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man. Harvard University Press, 1997. 

Scurr, Ruth. Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution. Metropolitan Books, 2006.

Sepinwall, Alyssa Goldstein. The Abbé Grégoire and the French Revolution: the Making of Modern Universalism. University of California Press, 2005.

Sewall, William H.  Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848. Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Shapiro, Gilbert, John Markoff, Timothy Tackett, and Philip Dawson. Revolutionary Demands: A Content Analysis of the Cahiers De Doléances of 1789. Stanford University Press, 1998.

Shusterman, Noah. Religion and the Politics of Time: Holidays in France from Louis XVI through NapoleonCatholic University of America, 2010.

Soboul, Albert. Paysans, sans culottes et Jacobins. Librairie Clavreuil, 1966.

Spang, Rebecca L. Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2016. 

Sutherland, Donald. France 1789-1815: Revolution and Counter-Revolution. Oxford University Press, 1985.

Tackett, Timothy. Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Origins of a Revolutionary Culture. Princeton University Press, 1996. 

—. The Coming of the Terror in the French RevolutionCambridge University Press, 2015. 

—.  Religion, Revolution, and Regional Culture in Eighteenth-Century France: The Ecclesiastical Oath of 1791. Princeton University Press, 1986.

—. The West in France in 1789: The Religious Factor in the Origins of Counterrevolution.” Journal of Modern History 54 (1982): 715-45.

—. When the King Took Flight. Harvard University Press, 2003.

Tallett, France, and Nicholas Atkin. Religion, Society, and Politics in France Since 1789. Bloomsbury, 1991.

Tilly, Charles. The Vendee. Harvard University Press, 1964.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. The Old Regime and the French Revolution. Doubleday, 1955.

Van Kley, Dale K. The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791Yale University Press, 1996.

Vovelle, Michel. The Revolution Against the Church: From Reason to the Supreme Being. Ohio State University Press, 1991.

Vovelle, Michelle, Timothy Tackett, and Elisabeth Tuttle. “Reflections on the Revisionist Interpretation of the French Revolution,French Historical Studies, vol. 16, No. 4 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 749-755.

Wahnich, Sophie. In Defence of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution. foreword by Slavoj Žižek. Verso, 2015. 

Walton, Charles. Policing Public Opinion in the French Revolution: The Culture of Calumny and the Problem of Free Speech. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Woloch, Isser. The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789-1820s. W.W. Norton, 1994.

*The above list was compiled by the editors of Age of Revolutions with further assistance from Kristen Block and Joshua Meeks.*

**Think we should add a specific text to the above list? Send us a message in the comment section below.**

3 thoughts on “French Revolution

  1. This is a great bibliography for the French Revolution! I’d recommend three texts that aren’t included yet: Malcolm Crook’s ‘Elections in the French Revolution’; Richard Clay’s ‘Iconoclasm in Revolutionary Paris’; and Peter McPhee’s ‘Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for including my book! It is now available in French as well, thanks to the beautiful work of two former students: _Le Frankenstein français et la littérature de l’ère révolutionnaire_, trans. by Pierre André and Alexane Bébin, preface by Jean-Clément Martin (Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2016).


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