Politics, culture, and the origins of the french revolution

Sarah Maza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


"Revisionist" interpretations of the French Revolution and its causes no longer deserve that label. In the quarter of a century since Alfred Cobban published The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution, the rejection of Marxian categories and, in most cases, of any socioeconomic explanation of the upheaval that began in 1789 has become the new orthodoxy. Many of the conference participants—especially those dealing with the history of ideas, and/or those adhenng most closely to the Tocqueville-Furet paradigm—have highlighted the structural continuity between old regime, revolutionary, and postrevolutionary political' 'modernity ". Some serious consideration of works of imagination and attention to the ideological implications of artistic and narrative styles and structures could diversify and enrich understanding of "political culture" if "politics" can be approached as a cultural form, it is no less true that "culture" can be read for its political message.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRevolutions in the Western World 1775–1825
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781351903264
ISBN (Print)0754625672, 9780754625674
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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