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1848: Year of Revolution

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  339 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In 1848, a violent storm of revolutions ripped through Europe. The torrent all but swept away the conservative order that had kept peace on the continent since Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815—but which in many countries had also suppressed dreams of national freedom. Political events so dramatic had not been seen in Europe since the French Revolution, and they would ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Basic Books (first published February 1st 2009)
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Julian Haigh
Oct 04, 2013 Julian Haigh rated it liked it
Broad history of the momentous European revolutions of 1848. It was the year of the overthrow of French King Louis-Philippe, abolishment of serfdom in Austria and Hungary, and the establishment of the Frankfurt Assembly meeting to determine the unification of Germany.

It is the year Metternich runs from Vienna while Bismarck begins to gain favour in Prussia; the bombardment and great seige of Venice; rise and fall of Kossuth's liberal Hungary, and the heroic return to Italy of the 'red-shirted'
Sep 27, 2010 James rated it it was amazing
This is a really fantastic overview of the Revolutions of 1848. Providing background on not just the relevant political history but also biographies of the major individuals, Rapport places the events solidly in context.

What I liked about this book was that it explains the interplay between nationalism, the movement for democracy, republicanism (meaning elections but with restricted electorate), and "social" issues, meaning workplace/wage issues, hunger (in a time of extended economic downturn),
May 16, 2016 David rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Last fall I read a biography of Napoleon, which was awesome. But as I finished, I was left wanting to know what happened next. In that review I noted that history as taught in America (at least where I went to school) focused on Europe until the beginnings of America and then totally shifted to American history. We did not learn about Europe between the end of the Revolutionary War and the beginning of WWI. I've picked up a little and that Napoleon book helped. This book did too.

This book tells
John David
This is what you might call a “general interest” history of the events that occurred in Europe in 1848. What started in Sicily quickly spread all over Europe: to France, Germany, Austria, the Italian states, Demark, Wallachia, Poland, and several other places. While almost no structural or political change actually took place as a result of these revolutions and therefore they are usually considered somewhat of a failure, it is often thought to be the historical location of the birth pangs of se ...more
Dec 25, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it
I struggled with this book. As an avid reader of Victorian-era history, I expected to love it, but Rapport doesn't give us enough of a story line to hang his facts on. And he provides a never-ending flow of facts, details, and trivia. Partly the problem is the subject -- he's trying to cover Germany, with all its little states, Italy, with ditto, Austria, France, Hungary, the UK, the Baltic states -- and on and on. Each one of these countries suffered some sort of cataclysm during the 1848-49 pe ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Jacob marked it as to-finish-later  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Back in 2007 I read Freedom & Necessity by Steven Brust and Emma Bull; although I highly enjoyed it (really, it's a great book--China Miéville even says so!), I missed out on the historical context: "It is 1849. Across Europe, the high tide of revolution has crested..." Revolution? Europe? Chartists? My knowledge of European history was (and still is) extremely poor, but I shrugged and kept reading. Four years later, with F&N on my to-reread shelf, I'm reminded again of my ignorance--but ...more
First let me say that I applaud the author for his knowledge and the amount of information he is able to cram into this book on the 1848 Revolutions. I am impressed that he knows so very much about a wide-ranging group of people. He must have spent years researching information in multiple languages and I give him credit for all of this.

However, for me, I had a really hard time with this book. I read dense history books all the time, but I had a difficult time following the story in this one. Th
Jul 01, 2014 Fliu rated it really liked it
The book “1848 Year of Revolution” has depicted series of revolutions happened in Europe especially in 1848. Following after the sparkle in Sicily first, nearly the whole Europe besides the United Kingdom, Russia and Netherland was affected by the wave of revolution. The most successful one might be the fall of July Monarchy and the establishment of the Second French Republic. Although the revolutions were brutally oppressed by kingdoms led by Habsburg, many people have first touched and experie ...more
David Montgomery
Mar 11, 2015 David Montgomery rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A cogent and clear recounting of a vital but all-too-forgotten period (in America, at least) in Europe's history, the 1848 wave of European revolutions when the people momentarily overthrew a dozen monarchs, only to be crushed again in a subsequent wave of counter-revolutions. The tale could easily have been lost among the dozens of names in different languages, but Rapport keeps a firm grasp on his storyline. His thesis is also relatively clear, with appropriate nuance: the revolutions succeede ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Mommalibrarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
1848 was a reasonably compact telling of the revolutions that began around that year and their results. Every kingdom (there were few nations yet) in Europe, even Russia and Britain was touched to some extent. The author did not talk about where the ideas that stirred up the trouble came from but they included desire for nationhood, broader suffrage, freedom for serfs/peasants, the right to own property, universal education, and freedom of the press, speech, and association. There were popular d ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Matt rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting period of time which I, admittedly knew nothing about. However, this book is very dense. I'd recommend it only to people with prior knowledge of the events and want to learn more about it or huge history buffs.
Jan 11, 2010 Glenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in 19th Century European History this book is a must read. It is very well written and is well balanced and engrossing. I wish I'd had Mr. Rapport as a professor in college!
Mar 18, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a meeting between an author with too much detail on his mind and a period with too much going on to fit into a single volume (though it's been done before). The problem too is that Rapport is not a story teller, which a historian has to be when he is writing for history lovers, not historians. In sum, I agree with several other readers that this book is for those who know the events and persons of 1848 very well. Unfortunately, though I had read other books on the 19th century, and ...more
Mar 07, 2014 Billy rated it liked it
This book focuses on the political aspects of the tumultuous year of revolutions, 1848. If you are looking for anything on the various battles of that year, look elsewhere; the pivotal fights are all disposed of in a paragraph of less.

While an interesting read, it is by no means a page-turner. Partly, the history is a flood of personas who appear for a page and then disappear, never to be seen again. Mainly, it is the structure of the book, though. It is subdivided into the various phases of the
Ryan Burns
Mar 07, 2011 Ryan Burns rated it really liked it
This thing reads like a Middle Eastern newspaper.
I wanted to love this book. I already love the topic and time period, so it should have been a cinch to love the book, too, right? Well.... I'm sad to say this book was a slog. It jumped right into the fray without enough historical background on the events of 1848; I felt like I needed at least a B.A. in European history to swim and not sink in the depths to which Rapport immediately plunges. The narrative jumps around among countries, regions, and people so often that it was making me seasick. ...more
Jim Pfluecke
Sep 27, 2010 Jim Pfluecke rated it it was amazing
This is a really fantastic overview of the Revolutions of 1848. Providing background on not just the relevant political history but also biographies of the major individuals, Rapport places the events solidly in context.

What I liked about this book was that it explains the interplay between nationalism, the movement for democracy, republicanism (meaning elections but with restricted electorate), and "social" issues, meaning workplace/wage issues, hunger (in a time of extended economic downturn),
This book covers a set of uprisings in the year of the title spread widely over Europe - ranging from France to Romania. Many characters appear in more than one revolution and the interaction between the leading characters is well narrated giving a good sense of the intents and personalities taking part.

The first half of the book introduces the uprisings and the parties involved while the second half details the build-up of the reactionary forces and the often tragic fractures between the variou
Jul 31, 2009 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, scottish
1848 truly was the year of revolution; so many events that Mike Rapport spends 400 pages and gives us a panoramic glimpse. Rapport lectures in history at the University of Stirling in Scotland and emphasizes the stick-to-the-facts chronology. It’s refreshing not to be plagued by “it seems that” and “one must imagine.” The book is well-supported by research.

I, however, longed for the approach of the superb Lords of Finance. The context of the times was easier to understand because of the tighter
Dan Murphy
Jan 02, 2011 Dan Murphy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

Three Favorite Passages:

1. "Most patriots of 1848, in claiming national rights and freedoms for their own people, were in the process willing to trample on the liberties of others. All too soon the hard iron of national self-interest invariably won out over the more fragrant universal principles of 1848. Consequently, in many places where the 'national question' arose, Europeans would experience the brutalities of ethnic conflict, setting the revolutionaries against each other and providing the
Mar 26, 2013 Erskine rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Not an easy read due to the way it's organized, and the scope of the topic. The narrative covers the wave of revolution, and counter-revolution, that swept through Europe in 1848-9. It jumps from France, to the Hapsburg Empire, to the German Confederation, to Italy, and then cycles back around repeatedly. So many different people are introduced that it's very difficult to keep clear on who's who, and at each geographical jump one has to strain to recall what was going on in that location when la ...more
Tanya Faberson
Dec 17, 2014 Tanya Faberson rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent history of the revolutions in Europe in 1848 and their aftermath. I found it especially interesting with regard to my historical archaeological research in 19th c American urban settings (such as German neighborhoods that developed from tides of immigrants streaming in during or after the political and social upheavals of 1848) as well as American politics before the Civil War (such as the development of nativist parties, like the Know-Nothings).
Aug 02, 2013 Kaleb added it
Informative narrative for the reader with little knowledge of the 1848 revolutions. In the last chapter and a half, the chronology seems to bounce around as Rapport jumps between nations, retelling the stories from that new perspective.
In the conclusion, Rapport finally gets to a lot of the "so what," the implications of this story he's been telling, and the historical significance of the revolutions and their aftermath. This is where he also addresses much of the historiographical debates and w
Nov 29, 2015 Mshelton50 rated it really liked it
Any student of European history would find this book a worthwhile addition to his/her library. I picked it up in hopes of learning more about 1848's effect on France, but the book also does a wonderful job with the revolutions in Germany, the Habsburg Monarchy and Italy. Dr. Rapport's writing style is good, and easy to follow. I recommend it.
a too detailed overview of the developments of 1848 in the who.e of europe. the advantage is than from now on i have a new historic benchmark, did an event take place before or after 1848 ?
Bruce Macbain
Apr 11, 2011 Bruce Macbain rated it it was amazing
I've read several news commentators lately who point out the similarity of the current wave of revolutions sweeping the Middle East to the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848, overthrowing (though only temporarily) the repressive regimes in France,Germany, Austria, and Italy. So I thought I ought to learn more about that. (I had only the vaguest memory of this period from my college history survey of many years ago.) I chose Rapport' book and found it a very satisfying read. Detailed but never ...more
Paul Skinner
Apr 13, 2014 Paul Skinner rated it liked it
Too detailed, and too many different places covered. Had to keep going back over it to get the story.
Claire Baxter
Apr 08, 2016 Claire Baxter rated it it was ok
I considered giving up on this book several times, but pushed on. It should have been an interesting topic but was too dry and too long. And by too long, I mean that in every way. Not just the overall length of the book but the length of the chapters, paragraphs and sentences. Some paragraphs went for a page and a half, making it feel wordy and not punchy. I was more interested in the plight of the common people and what drove them to the barricades, but this was more about the politics and lead ...more
May 25, 2015 Quincy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Good overview of the liberal revolutions of 1848. Further reading of some books in the bibliography will give a clearer picture. I disagree with the reasons for the reactionary victories. The book seems to blame the radicals while observing that the useful idiots (liberals/moderates) returned to authoritarian means of governance and running toward reactionaries. Marx was apt to blame the petite bourgeoisie. Buckley said, " A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop..." A ...more
Adam Morris
Jun 13, 2015 Adam Morris rated it really liked it
Shelves: european-history
I picked up and put down this book several times. The subject matter is of great interest and the author clearly understands the events, their connections and overall significance in the bigger picture of European history. Not being familiar with all the characters and the background it was a little difficult to follow. Nevertheless, in the end it was a satisfying read and while I likely missed some of the nuances of the actions described, I felt that I had a good general understanding of the co ...more
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