Contesting the French Revolution provides an insightful overview of one of history's most significant events, as well as examining the most significant historiographical debates about this period. Explores the causes, events, and consequences of the French Revolution Offers a stimulating analysis of the most controversial debates: Were the events of 1789 a social revolution or a political accident? Did they mark the rise of industrial capitalism or the birth of modern democracy? Was Napoleon Bonaparte an heir to the ideals of 1789 or a betrayer of the Revolution? Shows how historical interpretation of the French Revolution has been influenced by the changing political and social currents of the last 200 years - from the Russian Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall - and how historical study has shifted from a political focus to social and cultural approaches in more recent years.