In 1856, meditating on the French Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
When I came to gather all the individual wishes, with a sense of terror I realized that their demands were for the wholesale and systematic abolition of all the laws and all the current practices in the country. Straightaway I saw that the issue here was one of the most extensive and dangerous revolutions ever observed in the world.
This week we discuss that most “extensive” revolution with Jeremy D. Popkin, the William T. Bryan Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. Professor Popkin is the author of numerous books, including on the press in revolutionary France; the Haitian Revolution; and the story of historiography. His most recent book is A New Age Now Begins: The History of the French Revolution, and it is the subject of today’s conversation.