A Brief History of France
The histories of France and England are deeply entwined (which always seemed odd to me considering how very different are their people, language, food, etc), so reading about France's history wasn't exactly like taking a trip to another galaxy. Since declaring nationhood, their almost constant warring would always insure some old familiar atrocity to ground my sense of time ...more
This little book (just a little over 300 pages) manages brilliantly to condense much interesting and relevant information about the main historical developments and character of this fascinating country; the overall narrative tends to be weighted towards early modern, mode ...more
I selected this book to have a better understanding of what led up to the revolution and what happened afterwards. I did not have high hopes to understand most of it, I was wrong. Jenkins writes in an easy style. In just over 300 pages he surveys French history, after mentioning Cro Magnon ...more
Cecil pulls from several resources to give us a balanced view of French history and culture. Without too many romantic leanings or criticisms, he lays out ...more
I have recently spent a delightful month in France. What is it about this country that stands it in contrast to the hard, winner takes all capitalism of the Anglosphere?(Britain and the US.) Reading this book certainly provides some of the answers to that question and in a way that is a very enjoyable read as well. It is one of the excellent “Brief History” series of book of which contains approximately 70 titles. It packs a lot of info...more
The pace of the narrative slows, however, as one approaches the present. Major themes of the Fifth Republic are highlighted, particularl ...more
The book is quiet heavy on the post revolution part. The continuous procession of people in and out of power does ...more
While I learned some new things about France, which was my goal in reading this book, it is not the most enjoyable of the "brief history" books I've read.
If you are looking for a brief summary of who did what in French history than this is a good book.
There are a couple of exceptions: I di ...more
Cecil Jenkins's book is the best of the three, well written and researched, as I've found all the books in the "Brief History" series that I'v ...more
It is a very quick summary of French history, but doesn't get bogged down in a lot o ...more
Still, it's skilfully and succinctly written and provides a good treatment of certain things in ...more
Still, I found this book to be very informative, if that's what you're looking for.
The writing was a little confusing som ...more
Not only does it present information in an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow fashion but, amazingly, also manages to retain the names, dates and other specific information making it easy to research further. Beyond this, the book also contains a multitude of references to source and related material woven throughout the summary-style historical narratives, also facilitat ...more
If you want to or need to know about France of today and why it is politically, economically and socially the way it is, this book will probably serve as a good primer.
If you want to study up before your vacation in France, you might do better to look for a different history book than this.
There is considerably more Chirac than Charlemagne here and while you race through prehistory through Roman times in one chapter about half the text deals with WWII to the present.
My literary interests are in French and German as well as in English, but I am also interested in philosophy, history and politics.
A former soccer player, I enjoy various sport ...more