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Vive la Revolution
A Stand-up History of the French Revolution
Steel's guide to the French Revolution displays serious scholarship, as well as comic genius.


“Thank goodness . . . for Mark Steel. Engagingly lighthearted while clearly thorough, the author has taken the events of the French Revolution and given them a human face, as well as neatly poking fun at the over-pomposity with which our recent historians have dealt with the period.”—The Observer


“With Vive La Revolution [Steel] examines the raw material of 1789, not so much in search of laughs as in an attempt to reclaim the first popular revolution from the dry historians.”—Scotsman


“A cross between a history of the French Revolution and a spirited defense of the ideals that inspired it.”—The Independent


“Steel expertly guides the reader through the philosophies, protagonists, failures and serious legacy of the events of 1789.”—Guardian


Vive la Revolution is an uproariously serious work of history. Brilliantly funny and insightful, it puts individual people back at the center of the story of the French Revolution, telling this remarkable story as it has never been told before.


For the Haymarket edition, Steel has added a new preface for North American readers and revised the book to address parallel themes in US history.