This is the most up-to-date and comprehensive study of French history available ranging from the early middle ages to the present. Amongst its central themes are the relationships between state and society, the impact of war, competition for power, and the ways in which power has been used. Whilst taking full account of major figures such as Philip Augustus, Henri IV, Louis XIV, Napoleon and de Gaulle, it sets their activities within the broader context of changing economic and social structures and beliefs, and offers rich insights into the lives of ordinary men and women. This third edition has been substantially revised and includes a new chapter on contemporary France - a society and political system in crisis as a result of globalisation, rising unemployment, a failing educational system, growing social and racial tensions, corruption, the rise of the extreme right, and a widespread loss of confidence in political leaders.
Roger Price is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has written extensively on French history. His latest publications include The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power (2001) and People and Politics in France, 1848-1870 (2004).
List of plates; List of figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Medieval and Early Modern France: 1. Population and resources in pre-industrial France; 2. Society and politics in medieval France; 3. Society and politics in early modern France; Part II. The Dual Revolution: Modern and Contemporary France: 4. Revolution and empire; 5. The nineteenth century: continuity and change; 6. A time of crisis, 1914-45; 7. Reconstruction and renewal: the Trente Glorieuses; 8. A society under stress; A short guide to further reading; Index.