Where the hell do I start with this shit? Unlike with the Russian Revolution I never see any leftists giving any clear recommendations for the French Revolution, so let's make a thread to address that now.
There are a whole bunch of differing interpretations that are neatly summarized in this Cosmonaut article: https://cosmonautmag.com/2019/09/historiography-wars-the-french-revolution/Contemporary:
The names that get dropped here are Edmund Burke's right wing critique of the French Revolution and Thomas Payne's reply. Seems like something I'm obliged to read eventually but is it a good place to start?Bourgeois revolutionary:
These are the historians that Marx and Engels themselves read: Guizot, Thiers, and Michelet (the latter Wilhelm Liebknecht really liked and who seems to be the most leftwing). The translations are usually pretty old so they might be a difficult read. Do you recommend any of these authors?Second International Socialist:
You have histories by Jean Jaures, E. Belfort Bax, a short one by Kautsky, and some others. Once again physical copies are mostly print on demand dreck, but I'm wondering if anyone recommends these.Official Communist Academic:
The big names here are Georges Lefebvre and Albert Soboul. These authors combine more rigorous research with an explicit Marxist mode of analysis - albeit presumably with some probrematic baggage about a "democratic bourgeoisie" that must personally lead the "bourgeois democratic revolution" and so on. Anyone read these?Revisionist Renegades:
The latter school actually had some clout in mainstream history departments so there was a big cold war push to discredit them - casting doubt on how independent the bourgeoisie was from the aristocracy etc. However, it's pretty much solely a negative critique, with the unspoken thesis being that the whole revolution was a senseless act of violence and that the ancien regime would have evolved into a parliamentary capitalist regime by itself.
So not ideal, but this school has the benefit of the most up-to-date research and prose. I actually already own one book in this tradition: Citizens
by Simon Schama that I found at GooPost too long. Click here to view the full text.