Sunday, February 19, 2012
Vive La Revolution by Mark Steel
They don't have revolutions like they used to and they certainly don't have revolutions like the one France pulled. But what actually happened? Aside from knowing that a lot of people got guillotined, most people wouldn't know in the US. Which is where Mark Steel picks up to enlighten the masses with the causes, events and general results of France's little revolution. Along the way he takes an irreverent attitude about the stuffy scholarliness that most history books take. Any way around it, no one is safe from Steel's acid pen.
Viciously funny and historically accurate, this is how history should be presented to people who don't like it. Steel is irreverent and hilarious as he explains why the revolution happened the way it did and who was involved. He also makes a good point of noting that history is written by the winners, which is probably why so many things were described the way they were in primary sources. I was deeply amused by the book and except for the language would have recommended it for the school library as it explains the French Revolution better than I ever could. Well researched and entirely readable, if you don't take your history too seriously, this book is perfect.