One might assume there is nothing left to write about the French Revolution, but Elliott Professor of History Robert H. Blackman just spent 5 years proving otherwise. Cambridge University Press recently published his book, 1789: The French Revolution Begins in which Blackman reconstructs the most important debates and events in a comprehensive and accessible study of the first few months of the French Revolution.
Though many historians have written excellent books on 1789 France, Blackman says he was frustrated that none of them covered the debates in the representative assemblies with sufficient detail or care. “I found that I had something to say that I just couldn't leave unsaid,” he admits. The French Revolution marks the beginning of modern politics, and his book is the first to really focus on the gradual transition of sovereignty from the king to the nation during that time. He reinterprets assumptions, debunks former arguments, and offers a fresh new understanding of the chaotic political transformation.