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French Revolution

Book Reviews from the June 1968 issue of the Socialist Standard History of the French Revolution by Jules Michelet (edited by Gordon Wright) University of Chicago Press. 32s The Crowd in the French Revolution by George F. Rudé OUP Paperback 8s. 6d. At some stage in the year 1789—the precise moment is debatable—there occurred in France a great social and political upheaval. This French Revolution gave rise, in embryonic form, to important concepts such as the class struggle, revolutionary dictatorship and, in the later stages, “elitist egalitarianism" in the form of Babeuf’s Conspiracy of the Equals. Those, however, who see the revolution as a popular, egalitarian movement have failed to understand its true character. The French Revolution was a successful attempt by the bourgeoisie to destroy the feudalism which shackled their economic enterprise with old-fashioned regulations and which denied them the political rights they felt were their due. Throughout the, revolution’…