review

Revolutionary Read

According to The New York Times’ Gary J. Bass, 1848, A Year of Revolution by Mike Rapport is “panoramic” new history of the year in which uprisings spread across Europe. The book chronicles the motives of the impoverished serfs as they struggled for freedoms such as free speech, parliaments, religious liberty and jury trials. And while Rapport grounds his book in details of European peasants and their absolutist leaders, there is a decidedly “modern resonance” to the text. “It’s hard to read this book without feeling a deepening reverence for successful postrevolutionaries like Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel," Bass writes.