The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800
It is an era that redefined history. As the 1790s began, a fragile America teetered on the brink of oblivion, Russia towered as a vast imperial power, and France plunged into revolution. But in contrast to the way conventional histories tell it, none of these remarkable events occurred in isolation.
Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian Jay Winik masterfully illumina...more
Jay Winik focuses on three major areas of the world to illustrate the political and ideological impulses that were changing the world. He begins with the post rev ...more
John Adams scared that the mob would drag him and Washington to the chopping block a la The Terror in the French Revolution? Wow!
Catherine the Great wasn't Russian, I knew. That her name wasn't Catherine, I didn't know.
The book is fair to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It was fair to Potemkin. It was fair to Robespierre (mercilessly ...more
America had cast off the British monarchy and attempted to enact the seemingly impossible ...more
I already knew the American story fairly well. It was how that story interacted with the French and Russian story that I found fasc ...more
I would not go as far as saying that I could not put it down as it took me a while to read through it, but that had more to do with time available for reading.
It made me interested in history again.
And I have to thank the author more than the history itself.
This book also has a lot to say about American exceptionalism, and in this it is very much a book of its time, written in 2007 at the close of a period of unprecedented American hegemony.
The subsequent debasement of America's democracy, her abrogatio ...more
Jay Winik describes in considerable detail how the American Revolution rippled across Europe and Asia with devastating effect. In France, the Bourbon dynasty and French society collapse under the weight of revolutionary zeal. In Russia, ...more
The book was fantastic and the audio performance from Jonathan Davis was classic.
If you love history, you will love this book. It seems like some others criticized the tying together (or lack thereof) of narratives between America, France and Russia. I don’t have this criticism and walk away feeling the interconnected-ness of all the players in the global drama that unfolded.
I thought Winik did an incredible job telling the personal stories of the characters ...more
Regardless, I would have likely given this 3 stars if his sections on the Ottomans weren't so awful; Winik can't seem to go a sentence without criticizing the Ottomans and Islam in ways he never does for the the Americans, French, or Russians. Despite covering (and excu ...more