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The Course of French History

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An eminent French historian's version of French history from 987 to the present, this compact account is written in a delightfully entertaining style. It's a panoramic view, from the plague to Joan of Arc to Napoleon to De Gaulle. The monarchs are taken one by one, but in general there is more social and economic than political history. With so much compression, there is occasional loss of intelligibility; Goubert genially acknowledges this with short sections given headings like ``Eight Wars And As Many Truces, With Even More Massacres.'' But those who don't know French history will learn a lot, and those who do will enjoy Goubert's comments. Recommended. Nancy C. Cridland, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington

"Goubert uses all the tools of the new history, but has an eye for the personalities involved and an appreciation of the role of force and folly in events. The book is learned, entertaining and written by a historian with an enviable gift for going for the jugular." From reviews of the ???: L -"The Economist "Professor Goubert's fascinating book is by no means restricted to the history of battles long ago. [He deals] stimulatingly with the economy, demography, and the way of life of each main epoch." -"History Today

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