The concept and reality of revolution has gripped the imagination of many writers over the centuries. This is a comprehensive historical examination of these key ideas and theories. Kimmel looks at the writings of Marx, Weber, Tocqueville, Freud, and Durkheim, asking how their theories were affected by the reality of living through the revolutions of 1848 and 1917. Kimmel then examines the interpretations of revolution offered by social scientists in the post World War II period, including Theda Skocpol, Barrington Moore and Charles Tilly, among others. The work is brought fully up-to-date with current analyses of the Nicaraguan, Iranian and Angolan revolutions.