The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006 - History - 441 pages
4 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This is a very well written historical narrative that, despite its title, really covers the whole of the French revolutionary period from the fall of the Bastille in July 1789 up to and beyond the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JeffV - LibraryThing

The Terror is an in-depth look at the French state leading up to and the years following the revolution of 1792. During this remarkable period of history, public executions (the Guillotine) became ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

2

Bibliographic information