In this new interpretation of the French Revolution, Jan Baszkiewicz examines revolutionary attempts to «regenerate» man, France and the world in the face of deep-seated and persistent traditions. Using a broad array of primary sources – including pamphlets, diaries, police reports, and debate protocols – Baszkiewicz analyzes the tools French revolutionaries used to build a new society on the wreckage of the Ancien Régime: Spectacular holidays, reforms in family and marriage law, general schooling, the Republican Calendar, the «liberation» of public spaces, education through work, a new religion, terror and war. In the end, the great plans for regeneration failed, though the myths that surrounded those failures lived on well into the twentieth century.
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2012. 296 pp.
Jan Baszkiewicz (1930-2011) was a Polish historian whose fields of research included political thought, social movements and
political institutions. Much of his work focused on the Age of Enlightenment and the history of France. Other than New
Man, New Nation, New World, his most popular works covered Robespierre, Danton and Richelieu.