Vive la Revolution: A Stand-up History of the French Revolution

by Mark Steel

Paperback, 2006


If real life can be funny, history should be doubly so. For Mark Steel, the French Revolution was one of the most inspirational moments in human history - a moment when ordinary people changed the world and became extraordinary. Here he strips away the layers of prejudice and preconception to be found in some historians' portraits of the revolutionaries - like Robespierre, Danton, de Sade, Tom Paine, Marat - to get to the people behind the stereotypes and the events behind the myths.


Checked out
Due May 20, 2024

Call number



Haymarket Books (2006), Edition: Illustrated, 293 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member Chalky
Isn't it strange that so much history we 'know' is put together (written would be too strong a word) precisely from the point of view of the sort of people we, ourselves, are not. As I see it this is the central message of Mark Steel's irreverent, witty and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny book. If
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, like most of us, your view of the French Revolution relies a little too heavily on The Scarlet Pimpernel then you'll find this a thoroughly useful book as well as a vastly entertaining read.
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LibraryThing member ablueidol
Great fun read. Reminds us to remember the individual actors make history as much as the stage they play on.
LibraryThing member fieldri1
I received a copy of this book from my mother-in-law. She, in turn had received her copy as the member of a reading group, and she felt, not surprisingly, that it was much more my thing than hers.The book is a history of the French Revolution, told with good humour and affection by a notorious
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'leftist' comedian. The book strips away some of the stuff that you might have thought you knew about the French Revolution, which was probably the product of a 'rightist' education system, leaving a story which highlights what was so good about the intentions of the revolution while not shying away from those things that might be considered to have been its failures.
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LibraryThing member juliannekim
the funniest history book I've ever read.
LibraryThing member kalinichta
Brilliant. Learning through laughter, what a novel concept! Genuinely "laugh-out-loud funny" (as opposed to all those novels that assure me in big, bold letters that they are "laugh-out-loud funny" but fail to elicit anything but a smile), engaging, informative and engrossing. And, as always,
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Steel's passion and enthusiasm are infectious.
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LibraryThing member Trotsky731
A hilarious and informative history of what is arguably the most important event in human history. A must read for any political/history buff, or anyone who just wants to learn about this important event.
LibraryThing member Clurb
Steel's irreverent wit makes this account of the French revolution accessible and hugely entertaining. Written in much the same style as his Radio 4 lectures, this is popular history for the masses and exceedingly well done.


Original language


Original publication date



193185937X / 9781931859370

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