Revolutions hold a distinct place in the popular imagination. This may be because their rhetoric, such as 'liberty, fraternity, equality', articulates aspirations with which we identify; or because we are shocked by the destructive forces unleashed when social conventions break down. Yet each revolution is unique - a product of its time, its society, its people - and the outcomes vary dramatically, from liberal reform to cruel 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 long-term legacies and their changing, sometimes contested, meanings today. They reflect on key questions, such as: What were the reasons for the revolution? What were the main events and dominant ideologies, and who were the leading protagonists? How is it considered today and what is its ideological legacy?
Whether as inspiration or warning, the legacies of these revolutions are not only important to those interested in protest, political change and the power of the people but also impact on virtually every one of us today.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
01 October 2020
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 Koerner Japan: The Meiji Restoration 1867: Shin Kawashima The Young Turk Revolution 1908: Mehmed Sukru 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 Tonnesson 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
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.