1989 was one of the great Years of Revolution in history, and it was also the anniversary of many famous revolutions. As the world commemorated the two hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution, startling changes were occuring in an Eastern Europe whose political map had been drawn in the aftermath of the Second World War, the revolutionary consequences of which could hardly be imagined at its outbreak fifty years before in 1939.
Although few of us can have expected to see the revolutionary changes of 1989 in our lifetime, it remains to be seen whether history will judge all of the upheavals in Eastern Europe as 'revolutions', or whether some will be categorized in later centuries as 'revolts', 'coups', 'failed revolutions', or indeed 'counter-revolutions'.
The distinguished contributors to this volume, published in the Wolfson College Lectures series, enjoy the advantage of historical perespective regarding past revolutions and counter-revolutions. Their papers present a wide-ranging analysis both of the concepts of revolution and counter-revolution, and of particular upheavals of vastly different character.
Introduction, E.E. Rice; changing forms of revolution, Charles Tilley; revolution in the English Atlantic empire, 1660-1800, J.C.D. Clark; revolution and counter-revolution in France, William Doyle; 1933 - a failed counter-revolution, Richard Bessel; revolution in the Third World - 1945 and after, Fred Halliday; revolution and counter-revolution in modern Italian history, Denis Mack Smith; Perestroika - advance or retreat of a revolution?, Wlodzimierz Brus; the Third World and the idea of revolution, Elie Kedourie.