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Taking a fresh look at Revolutionary Europe

6 February 2020

New book from Cardiff historian explores community building in long 19th century

A new book by a Cardiff University academic takes a new stance on revolution, looking at how political actors attempted to redefine both social unity and sovereignty.

Revolutionary Europe: Politics, Community and Culture in Transnational Context, 1775-1922 is an original examination of radical political movements during Europe's long 19th century, running from the American to Russian Revolutions.

The latest book by historian Dr Gavin Murray-Miller presents revolution as a process of community building and cultural identification born from acute social and political crisis, rather than as a purely theoretical, socially-driven force or a structural phenomenon.

Pinpointing various moments of political upheaval including the French, Russian and 1848 revolutions, it explores the ways in which political actors attempted to construct new definitions of sovereignty and social unity in a period characterized by vast social, economic and governmental change.

Covering Britain and much of continental Europe, as well as reaching out to the Americas and Atlantic and Mediterranean Worlds, the study both reflects national and transnational contexts and incorporates new debates in Atlantic history, empire studies and cultural history.

“With an extraordinary understanding of the vast literature on the subject, Gavin Murray-Miller carefully navigates the causes and consequences of a century and a half of revolution that roiled Europe and the American colonies and, interestingly, concludes with a thought-provoking chapter on the use of revolution in the 'non-western' world. Readers of this work will greatly benefit from the encounter.” –  Dr Jack Censer, George Mason University, USA

The book is in part inspired by the research and teaching involved in the undergraduate module Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth Century at Cardiff, where research and teaching are interwoven in a research-led teaching environment.

Author of The Cult of the Modern, Dr Murray-Miller adds:“ This was a fun book to write. It spans a long period of time and was directly connected with the teaching I was doing while working on it. Weekly seminars with students always offered a chance to pose new questions and consider new problems. I think the book has something for both students and scholars.”

Senior Lecturer in Modern European History Dr Gavin Murray-Miller is particularly interested in Modern France, Nationalism and Citizenship Studies, the Age of Revolution, Radical Political movements, and European Islam and Multiculturalism.

Revolutionary Europe: Politics, Community and Culture in Transnational Context, 1775-1922 is published by Bloomsbury.

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