A little more info: Thiers

So we have some fine nugget of information turning up. As I suspected but had not confirmed on writing the previous post one of the authors cited, Adolphe Thiers, was head of state of France for some time prior to and following the collapse of the Second Empire and the Franco-Prussian war, Thiers was instrumental in crushing the Paris Commune and stabilising the nation. There is more on his here on Wikipedia.

Can we lay our hands on a copy?
Project Gutenberg has more than excelled itself by providing the entire text of The History of the French Revolution online for free. Sadly it is in French and so is useless to someone as poorly schooled (that is to say my teachers were in fact rather good but cursed by lazy students) in the language as I. other may however use this resource to the hilt.

The Google Book Search copy is also available and for anyone not used to the run of events in the period it has an extensive time line in the front matter here. Reading it reminds me how the actual radicalisation might not have been as inevitable as I suggested yesterday. The opportunities and chances for a more benign resolution almost jump from the page. It is well worth looking over.

Finally for today I thought I’d mention the introduction (here) which is a solid twelve pages long but worth the read. It also sets the book into a nice context and offers insights that are beyond my ability.

Wrap up
So for now I will leave Thiers and his work and do some digging on the others. Just one point that I know will crop up again and again with this project. Why can I not buy the right to print some extracts or even select text from the online version? It is in the public domain, it is scanned. I would happily pay up to twenty dollars to access Google’s version of it and it would certainly make this task easier and more enlightening to be able to quote portions. The sooner Google offers the facility to use the text the better is all I can say.

From a wonderfully sunny Dublin
July 16th 2006

Lessig on Google Book Search & Fair Use

A fine video that is aging well
Many people will have seen and heard this excellent talk by Lawerence Lessig on Google Book Search and Fair Use given that it is by now about 6 months old. I will not preach my vision of the thing though I should think if you watch the video you’ll probably guess where I stand.

I tried to embed the video but it looks like I need to revisit the FAQ and How to pages for that task so here are the links, one to google video’s version and one to YouTube’s version.

So much for light weekend blogging!

weekend ramblings

Weekend relaxation Policy
I decided this weekend on two issues which have been floating in my brain. The first is that I write too much for the blog during the week and that it is too much like work to carry it over into the weekend regularly so that from now on I will blog her very infrequently on weekends.

However the second issue is much more fun.
Since discovering Google Book Search I have been playing with it to find interesting history books to buy and to read. One massive pleasure in that has been finding obscure texts that no-one references anymore but have enormous value and potential. As a hobby I have decided to blog about some of these treasures.

My first post is (here) on a newly created blog called Uncovered History and it is on the French revolution. I guess I will make it two or three posts per topic the first selecting the books, the second and subsequent giving details on the books, the content, the authors and the publishers.

Now as I say this is a hobby so the posts will be perhaps four or five a month so don’t expect the rapid fire posts I seem to have here.

All the best