Vive la Revolution: A Stand-up History of the French Revolution
“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.”â��The Observer
“With Vive La Revolution [Steel] examines the raw material of 1789, not
Vive La Revolution: A Stand-Up History of the French Revolution by Mark Steel is a casual history of the French Revolution told in a conversational and comedic tone. Vive La Revolution covers the basics of the French Revolution, including its origins, major events and players and the subsequent consequences and results of the revolution. Steel's presentation of the revolution is noticeably sympathetic towards the revolution and most of its supporting figur...more
My reaction to the stand-up humor in the book was...more
That is why this book gets 3 stars in my book. Steel does a great job of talking about the events of the...more
He breaks down the rhetoric of people like Marat in such a way that he becomes comparable to the political gadflies of today.
Truth is that western society today is nothing like that of enlightenment era society in that we had time to absorb what we learned and grew a certain level of comapassion over time, whereas then, it was groundbreaking. Heads on a pike just...more
I wanted to read a non-stuffy-academic account of the French Revolution and this fit that bill perfectly (Steel even makes fun of stuffy academic histories towards the beginning). Steel (a British stand-up comedian...more
I enjoy Steel's writing, his voice comes out clearly, his anecdotes and analogies fit well and his narrative is clear. If I had a critic...more
A short, breezy history (and defense) of the French Revolution that I had the bad luck to read after Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety, which is much richer, both as history and defense.
What I really loved were the anecdotes about lesser-known corners of the Revolution, like the Black Jacobins in the Caribbean, or the ever-incarcerated Marquis de Sade, who managed to piss off the roya...more
Steel creates a entertaining defence of the revolution. He raises many Historical points surr...more
(Though he mocks the crap out of Scott Schama so if you enjoy Schama's works (though, seriously, examine your life & choices if that's the case.), you might want to give it a miss)
Read it. It's great.
The book is a history of the French Revolution, told with good humour and affection by a notorious 'leftist' comedian. The book strips away some of the stuff that you might have thought you knew about the French Revolution, which was probably the product of a 'rightist' education system, leaving a story...more
I read Steel's book alongside several more "serious" historical works on the subject for a class. This was at least as good at explaining th...more