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Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Louis XIV is one of history's most notorious rulers. Ruling for three quarters of a century, the King of France had the longest reign in European history, and the effects of his rule would create the conditions that would lead to the French Revolution. Written by an authority on 17th century Europe, Pierre Goubert not only outlines the life the famous "Sun King. but the mi ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 12th 1972 by Vintage (first published 1970)
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Dan Gorman
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Solid brief history of Louis XIV. Pierre Goubert came out of the French Annales School of history, a group of thinkers that wanted to use statistics, economics, and other social sciences to write "total histories" of their subjects. Typically, these subjects involved commoners and regular people, so Goubert's choice to write about a famous king is unusual for an Annales man. But Goubert makes a good point that kings and their people must be understood in relation to each other. The book describe ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, history, non-fiction
The author, Pierre Goubert, seems a bit caddy and pessimistic when you first read this book. The first pages give you an indication of it right off the bat. However this is a very good book and does a rather great job of pulling together the France of the time and the man who ruled it. You do have to know a lot about the time as there are no introductions to the rest of Europe or those who went before Louis XIV that are mentioned many times. And the author assumes the reader will know what he is ...more
Andrew Fairweather
Almost finished, but just couldn't. I guess this isn't anyone's fault but mine, but I think this book requires some background information I just don't have. Many references are made to names a figures without providing much context. This might just be the character of the Annales school, but there is tons of detail here, which is good... but it feels as if it's been crammed on the head of a pin. Not much of an "introduction" I'd say. People who have a little more background might be able to get ...more
Oct 12, 2007 rated it liked it
As social histories go, a decent one. The translation at times is awkward, though not excessively so. Social history is innately boring since it deals with the common man, but the author makes a sometimes successful attempt to connect the mass of men with the life and politics of Louis XIV. One is given the impression that the king was not nearly so great and sun-like as we are sometimes led to believe.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This study serves an an excellent introduction to the reign of Louis XIV. It is broad in scope and makes French research available to English readers. In this translation of a study originally published in French in 1966, Professor Pierre Goubert, who is sympathetic to the monarch, achieves a successful balance in his discussion of royal politics, diplomacy and war, as well as social and economic history. The study includes as useful chronology, but lacks footnotes.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un ouvrage qui a fait date dans le domaine de l' étude du règne de Louis XIV. Abordant tous les aspects de la société française durant son long règne (1643-1715), il est encore à ce jour considéré comme un incontournable.
Facile d' accès, c' est un livre tout public, que du bonheur... A condition d' aimer l' Histoire bien sûr...
Jacob Folker
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An excellent portrait of The Great King that is scholarly yet readable. This is how history is to be written.
Aren Lerner
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Engagingly written, but clearly intended for a French audience - i.e., the author doesn't always use full names or explain events in detail that makes it a bit difficult to follow. ...more
Chris Kalbach
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Good overview but the translation is a little choppy and hard to understand at times. Has a
Focus in the wars and skips ideologies of the time.
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