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How they changed history and what they mean today

Peter Furtado


An essential primer on twenty-four of the most significant revolutions from the 17th century to the present day, narrated by leading historians from around the world

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Revolutions – peaceful or violent, radical or reactionary – have shaped the political landscape of the world we live in today. But what led revolutionaries to action? What were they fighting against and what were they seeking to achieve? Each revolution is a product of its time, its society, its people – and the outcomes vary dramatically, from liberal reform to brutal dictatorship. Twenty-four leading historians, each writing about their country of origin, consider revolutions from England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the Arab Spring of 2011, reflecting not only on their causes, crises and outcomes, but also their changing, sometimes contested, meanings. Whether as inspiration or warning, their legacies affect virtually every one of us today.

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Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 368 pp

Publication date: 8 July 2021

ISBN: 9780500296349

Contents List

Introduction: Peter Furtado
The English Revolution 1642–89: Simon Jenkins
The American Revolution 1776–88: Ray Raphael
The French Revolution 1789–99: Sophie Wahnich
The Haitian Revolution 1791–1804: Bayyinah Bello
The Year of Revolutions 1848: Axel Körner
Japan: The Meiji Restoration 1867: Shin Kawashima
The Young Turk Revolution 1908: Mehmed Sükrü Hanioglu
The Mexican Revolution 1910–17: Javier Garciadiego
The Irish Revolution 1913–23: Diarmaid Ferriter
Russia: The Bolshevik Revolution 1917: Dina Khapaeva
The Indian Revolution 1919–47: Mihir Bose
The Vietnamese Revolution 1945: Stein Tønnesson
China’s Communist Revolution 1949–76: Mobo Gao
The Cuban Revolution 1959–2000: Luis Martinez Fernandez
The Student Revolution 1968: Stephen Barnes
Portugal: The Carnation Revolution 1974: Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses
Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge Revolution 1975–79: Sorpong Peou
The Iranian Revolution 1979: Homa Katouzian
Nicaragua: The Sandinista Revolution 1979–1990: Mateo Jarquin
Poland: The Solidarity Revolution 1981–89: Anita Prazmowska
Eastern Europe 1989: Vladimir Tismaneanu and Andres Garcia
South Africa: The End of Apartheid 1990–1994: Thula Simpson
Ukraine: The Orange Revolution 2004: Yaroslav Hrytsak
Egypt: The Arab Spring 2011: Yasser Thabet

About the Author

Peter Furtado is the former editor of History Today. His publications include the Sunday Times bestselling Histories of Nations and Great Cities Through Travellers’ Eyes, both published by Thames & Hudson.

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