The best books about the Age of Revolutions

Wim Klooster Author Of Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History
By Wim Klooster

The Books I Picked & Why

The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property

By Rafe Blaufarb

Book cover of The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property

Why this book?

The French revolutionaries not only transformed property, they disentangled it from public power, creating a distinction between a private realm and a public one and between state and society. Blaufarb shows that at stake was much more and much more complex than historians have thought. He argues that without this multiple demarcation, free elections would have been impossible and universal human rights could not have been defined.    


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Resisting Independence

By Brad A. Jones

Book cover of Resisting Independence

Why this book?

This is probably the most comprehensive discussion of Loyalism to date. By detailing the Loyalist perspective on the growing crisis in the British empire and the ensuing American Revolution in four cities (Glasgow, Halifax, New York, and Kingston), Jones reveals the Loyalism shared in these places and shows how local issues led to new relationships with the Crown. One element integral to Loyalism was the notion of rights and liberties that British subjects enjoyed.    


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Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Royalism in the Northern Andes, 1780–1825

By Marcela Echeverri

Book cover of Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Royalism in the Northern Andes, 1780–1825

Why this book?

An important and original work that privileges the vantage point of blacks and indigenous people. Historians have often portrayed the royalist side in the Spanish American wars as conservative and backward, but by analyzing the political strategies of nonwhites, this book shows convincingly that their affiliation with the Spanish Crown was a sensible one. 


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The Bloody Flag: Mutiny in the Age of Atlantic Revolution

By Niklas Frykman

Book cover of The Bloody Flag: Mutiny in the Age of Atlantic Revolution

Why this book?

Beautifully written, this book focuses on the many mutinies that took place in the 1790s in the Dutch, English, and French navies. Some of the mutinies were massive and lasted for weeks. They were a consequence of the ever-growing exploitation of sailors as international rivalry increased. English mutineers tried but failed to set up a radical maritime republic. 


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Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire

By Sujit Sivasundaram

Book cover of Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire

Why this book?

The first book to successfully show that the age of revolutions also manifested itself in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The book also reveals how the British “neutralized” (in what the author calls an “imperial counter-revolt” of "counter-revolution") the age of revolution by coopting concepts of liberty, free trade, reason, and progress. 


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