The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France

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Macmillan, Dec 26, 2006 - History - 441 pages
7 Reviews
For two hundred years, the Terror has haunted the imagination of the West. The descent of the French Revolution from rapturous liberation into an orgy of apparently pointless bloodletting has been the focus of countless reflections on the often malignant nature of humanity and the folly of revolution. David Andress, a leading historian of the French Revolution, presents a radically different account of the Terror. In a remarkably vivid and page-turning work of history, he transports the reader from the pitched battles on the streets of Paris to the royal family's escape through secret passageways in the Tuileries palace, and across the landscape of the tragic last years of the Revolution. The violence, he shows, was a result of dogmatic and fundamentalist thinking: dreadful decisions were made by groups of people who believed they were still fighting for freedom but whose survival was threatened by famine, external war, and counter-revolutionaries within the fledging new state. Urgent questions emerge from Andress's trenchant reassessment: When is it right to arbitrarily detain those suspected of subversion? When does an earnest patriotism become the rationale for slaughter?
Combining startling narrative power and bold insight, The Terror is written with verve and exceptional pace-it is a superb popular debut from an enormously talented historian.
  

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Review: The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France

User Review  - johnny dangerously - Goodreads

I highly recomend this book, but it is painfully dry and awkwardly paced. The writer goes on tangents-- and while I generally approve of that, the pacing is awkward enough to give a reader whiplash ... Read full review

Review: The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France

User Review  - Christopher - Goodreads

a real achievement Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Night Flight
9
a Hankering After Destruction
38
The Fall
71
The September Massacres
93
Dawn of a New Age
116
Things Fall Apart
149
Holding the Centre
178
IO Glaciation
277
Triumph and Collapse
312
Terror Against Terror
345
Conclusion
371
Timeline of the French Revolution to 1795
379
Glossary
385
Cast of Characters
391
Notes
403

Saturnalia
210
Faction and Conspiracy
244

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About the author (2006)

David Andress, a leading historian of the French Revolution, is Principal Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Portsmouth, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. The Terror is his first book for a general readership.

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