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Good History Book Recommendations

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bszoka Posted: Thu, Dec 27 2007 9:21 PM

I'm eager for suggestions as to good books on the French Revolution (besides Burke's Reflections, of couse).  Personally, I'd appreciate suggestions for French-language books, but the appeal of those to other users might be limited.  

In general, I wonder if other users can recommend good history books that are either (i) "fair and balanced" or (ii) self-consciously libertarian/Austrian/market-oriented (or perhaps even both!).

I'll throw out a few on the subject of early U.S. history from my own recent reading:

  • Adams v. Jefferson:  The Tumultuous Election of 1800, John Ferling - superb political drama
  • John Adams, David McCullough
  • His Excellency, Joseph Ellis - good biography of Washington
  • 1776, David McCullough
  • The American Revolution, Gordon S. Wood
  • Inventing a Nation, Gore Vidal - Vidal plays a bit fast and loose with history at times, but this is a fun read

I'm looking forward to reading Murray's Conceived in Liberty--once I get my Kindle!

-- Berin M. Szoka
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Interesting that you should mention the French Revolution.  I just purchased Lectures on The French Revolution by Lord Acton.  I ordered my copy from Liberty Fund. 

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Kakugo replied on Fri, Dec 28 2007 6:53 AM

Three great books on the French Revolution are the following:

The Bayonets of the Republic by John Lynn

The Art of War in Revolutionary France by Paddy Griffith

Sister Revolutions by Susan Dunn

All are commonly available through the major bookstores.

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DBratton replied on Fri, Dec 28 2007 8:25 AM

The French Revolution by Hippolyte Taine is available from Liberty Fund. It's a translation from French. I'm sure the French version must also be available.


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Meinshap replied on Sat, Dec 29 2007 3:07 PM

A good historian on the French Revolution is Francois Furet (the english translations of his books are very good). 

 His book "The Passing of an Illusion" is an especially good broad history of the idea of communism in the 20th century.  The first chapters also provide a fascinating discussion of the ideas of the French Revolution.

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