20 Facts About Albert Soboul


Albert Marius Soboul was a historian of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods.

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Albert Soboul was uniquely inspired by the educator Jean Morini-Comby, who was himself a published historian of the Revolution.

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Albert Soboul excelled in his studies and developed a lifelong passion for history and philosophy.

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Albert Soboul published his first work of history, an examination of the ideas of the revolutionary leader Saint-Just, originally attributed to a pseudonym, Pierre Derocles.

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Albert Soboul completed his agregation in history and geography in 1938.

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Albert Soboul had already become a member of the French Communist Party and remained committed to them under the German occupation.

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Albert Soboul received a teaching position at the lycee of Montpellier, but he was dismissed by the Vichy regime in 1942 for supporting Resistance activities.

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Albert Soboul spent the rest of the war years doing historical research under the direction of Georges Henri Riviere for the Musee national des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Paris.

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Albert Soboul became a close friend of the eminent historian Georges Lefebvre and under his direction wrote his 1,100-page doctoral dissertation on the revolutionary sans-culottes, The Parisian Sans-culottes in the Year II.

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Albert Soboul served as editor of the Annales historiques de la Revolution francaise and lectured frequently throughout the world, acquiring a reputation as "the leading French authority on the Revolution".

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Albert Soboul carried forward many of the central viewpoints of earlier historians like Francois Victor Alphonse Aulard and Albert Mathiez and his extensive body of work is characterized by a clear, unfettered writing style and deeply detailed research.

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Albert Soboul always rejected labels of his work as Marxist or communist, describing himself as "part of the 'classical' and 'scientific' school of historiography represented by Tocqueville, Jaures and Lefebvre".

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Nonetheless, Albert Soboul remains considered a principal architect of the Marxist school of historical analysis.

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Albert Soboul propounded the Marxist interpretation arguing the Reign of Terror was a necessary response to outside threats and internal threats.

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Francois Furet and his followers have rejected Albert Soboul and argued that foreign threats had little to do with the Terror.

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Albert Soboul emphasized the importance of the sans-culottes as a social class, a sort of proto-proletariat that played a central role.

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Albert Soboul died in Nimes on the estate of his late aunt Marie.

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Toward the end of his life, Albert Soboul's interpretations faced increasing opposition by new historians of the revisionist school, but his work is still regarded as a major contribution to the study of history from below.

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Albert Soboul authored scores of books and articles in his native French.

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Albert Soboul updated and revised numerous earlier works and often collaborated with other historians in compilations and other projects.

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