Rethinking the French Revolution: Marxism and the Revisionist Challenge

By George C. Comninel | Go to book overview

Gaullist foundation of the Fifth Republic. Without such a threat, there were no longer grounds for a tacit alliance or ' Popular Front' of understanding between conservative -- or centrist -- liberals and Marxists.

At one time, conservative liberals were seriously constrained by the anti-liberal political forces on their right. Left-liberals were at the same time conscious of a betrayal of the 'social' promise of Republicanism by governing conservatives, while the socialist left went so far as to call into question the very nature of the Republic, as a bourgeois class state. Given the necessity of making common cause against the right, both at home and abroad, these differences tended to foster a leftward drift in the 'official' interpretation of the Revolution. The political center was largely obliged to keep still -- or risk open identification with the right -- while the social interpretation grew steadily more emphatic in its class analysis. In the end, the conservatives were confronted with an outspoken Marxist in the Sorbonne.

Yet with real changes in the political realities, the tide of ideas began to turn. The development of profoundly conservative liberal sociological theories in the United States, to counter the more critical traditions of social theory, began to influence French social history in ways which were not at first obvious. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, for one, went in search of Marx, but found Malthus. When, at the same time, the official historiography of the Revolution was becoming ever more explicitly grounded in Marxist theory, and both Montagnard politics and the revolutionary popular movement were being sympathetically evoked by Rudé and Soboul, the appearance of a conservative, revisionist interpretation of the Revolution should not be surprising.


Notes
1.
Alfred Cobban, The Myth of the French Revolution, London 1955, reprinted in A. Cobban, Aspects of the French Revolution, London 1968, pp. 90-112.
2.
Cobban, The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution, London 1968.
3.
Irish Historical Studies, xiv ( 1964-5), 192, cited in Doyle, Origins, p. 15.
4.
Cobban, Social Interpretation, pp. 8-14.
5.
Georges Lefebvre, Etudes sur la Révolution française, Paris 1954, p. 246, cited by Cobban, Social Interpretation, p. 8.
6.
Georges Lefebvre, The Coming of the French Revolution, New York n.d. p. 179, p. 5.
7.
Lefebvre, Coming, pp. 3-4.

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rethinking the French Revolution: Marxism and the Revisionist Challenge
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.