Book Reviews on Politics in 17th Century Europe

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Book Reviews on Politics in 17th Century Europe

The two journals that I chose to use for my reviews were History and Theory: Studies in the Philosophy of History published at Wesleyan University, and Renaissance Forum. I will be looking at two reviews of historical Books written about two very different places and themes.

The first Book entitled Marxist Historians and the Question of Class in the French Revolution by Jack Amariglio and Bruce Norton, looks at life before during and after the French revolution tries to explain the causes and Dynamics of the Revolution itself. The article evaluates the importance of “the Classes” in defining the revolution.

The reviewer says that the book while taking care consideration to explain the nature of the revolution could have used a much more respectable and justified foundation for its research than Marxist theory. The reviewer states that the complexity of their explanations while admirable causes much confusion throughout the book.

“This complexity stems from their loose, multiple, and often contradictory notions of class influenced partly by Joseph Barnave’s “stage theory” of pre revolutionary France and by “Vulgar Marxism.”

This review would be useful in deciding whether or not the book is worth reading. It does not however, provide enough background or synopses of the book itself to be used as a research tool.

The review of the Book Political Culture and Cultural Politics in Early Modern Europe, takes quite a different approach to the task of criticism. It gives a lengthy background on the book itself and provides in detail many of the theories upon which the book is based. The review breaks the book down almost by chapter and theory discussing each one for validity. The author of the review Mark Stoyle of University of South Hampton takes a fresh approach to the often-monotonous task of Book reviewing. His opening line “Whenever I hear the word culture…I release the safety catch on my pistol” is quite a unique way of grabbing the reader’s attention.
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