Citizens by Simon Schama a chronicle of the French Revolution

From: Francis Scholl
Category: Books
Date: 27 August 2001


Schama makes the revolution seem like a big mistake. He can't stand violence unless it is committed in the name of the order, that is the status quo however unfair and unpleasant it may be. Happily discrediting the revolutionaries as sangine stained lawyers, his sympathies lie with the King whom he portrays as a slightly hesistant politician but oh so loyal father only interested in his family's safety rather than the continuation of his despotic and repressive rule. His sentimental and misleading "chronicle" is designed to appeal to our innate conservatism and horror of self-determination. Tradition and economomic progress are better than democracy, which Schama sees as tyranny of the majority. After 900 pages his reactionary views disguised as objective history,his too chatty style, Franglais, and repetitive use of annoying Schama phrases and words, make you feel like guillotining the book. But you read on: still 1789 exerts it's power strongly, darkly, and brightly, and demands you to know.

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