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Louis XVI was at the center of the French Revolution, one of the major turning points in world history, but little is known about him. He is often portrayed only as the weak, lazy, and treasonous king dominated by Marie-Antoinette. This new investigation by John Hardman, a leading expert on the French Revolution, challenges this stereotype. Drawing on new evidence from Louis XVI''s letters and from a large body of new research, Hardman provides the first detailed reconstruction of the king''s political thought and sheds new light on the king''s character and personality.