It is an era that redefined history. As the 1790s began, a fragile America teetered on the brink of oblivion, Russia towered as a vast imperial power, and France plunged into revolution. But in contrast to the way conventional histories tell it, none of these remarkable events occurred in isolation. Now, for the first time, in The Great Upheaval, acclaimed historian Jay Winik masterfully illuminates how their fates combined in one extraordinary moment to change the course of civilization.
In this sweeping, magisterial drama, Winik brings his vast, meticulous research and narrative genius to the cold, dark battlefields and deadly clashes of ideologies that defined this age. Here is a savage world war, the top-pling of a great dynasty, and an America struggling to survive at home and abroad. Here, too, is the first modern holy war between Islam and a resurgent Christian empire. And here is the richest cast of characters to walk upon the world stage: Washington and Jefferson, Louis XVI and Robespierre, Catherine the Great, Adams, Napoleon, and Selim III. With powerful echoes for understanding the international chaos that confronts the globe today, we see them all fighting desperately for the ideals they believed in, whether man-made democracy or divinely inspired autocracy, whether republicanism or Allah's law.
Exquisitely written and utterly compelling, The Great Upheaval vividly depicts an arc of revolutionary fervor stretching from Philadelphia and Paris to St. Petersburg and Cairo with fateful results. A landmark in historical literature, Winik's gripping, epic portrait of this tumultuous decade will forever transform the way we see America's beginnings and our world.
“In this masterful book, Jay Winik sheds new light on a tumultuous decade rife with lessons for today.”
“A cinematic reconstruction of the birth of the modern world. No one interested in history will want to miss it.”
“A historical work of rare drama and audacity, told with the tireless verve of a gifted storyteller.”
“The Great Upheaval is great history, vividly told.”
“Jay Winik’s The Great Upheaval is a terrific work that will endure for years to come.”
-Doris Kearns Goodwin
“Ambitious. . . An authoritative study. . . . Intriguing.”
-The Boston Globe