Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots, and Revolutionaries, 1776-1871

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Viking, 1999 - History - 498 pages
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The dramatic journey of "Holy Madness" begins in America in 1776 and travels through the last agony of the Paris Commune in 1871, documenting in one continuous narrative an extraordinary century that changed the face of the world. Romantics and revolutionaries, fired by the political visions of the Englightenment, transformed the society of Europe and its colonies in a widespread desire to create ideal communities: witness the American Revolution, the Irish rebellion, uprisings in Hungary, Russia, and Poland; the war of Greek liberation, the liberation of South America, and the Italian Risorgimento. On this vast canvas, Zamoyski elegantly captures the passionate partisans Lafayette, Garibaldi, Mazzini, Napoleon, Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Coleridge, Byron, Rousseau, Bolivar, and countless others willing to die in a kind of crusade whose Jerusalem was an idealized nation. As the cult of the nation rises again around the world, this magnificent, and stimulating consideration of the causes and consequences of nationalism takes on a chilling relevance.

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Holy madness: romantics, patriots, and revolutionaries, 1776-1871

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Zamoyski (The Polish Way; Paderewski. o.p.) has written extensively on the history and people of his native Poland, and it is the liberating odyssey of his homeland that explains his empathy for the ... Read full review


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The American Parable
Articles of Faith

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About the author (1999)

Adam Zamoyski was born in New York, was educated at Oxford, & lives in London. His other books include biographies of Chopin & Paderewski & a history of Poland.

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