Having visited France regularly for over 40 years, I really felt that, although I’ve picked up a fair mount along the way, I didn’t really understand much about how modern France came into being after the Revolution of 1789. This recently published book by Jonathan Fenby seemed to offer just what I needed, so I read it.
I found it very good, with details right up to early 2016. But there is perhaps a bit too much detail on the toing and froing of various governments and politicians over the years. France certainly has a turbulent history, with regular revolutionary periods, dominant leaders, wars and much more.
Strikingly, many of today’s themes, such as immigration, xenophobia, and the close relationship with Germany, have their roots in these earlier events.
Do read it if you want to know more about this subject. If you’re interested, it has inspired my own very brief history of modern France in the following.Read More »