FATAL PURITY

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Fatal Purity

Author : Ruth Scurr
ISBN : 9781466805781
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 62.4 MB
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A riveting biography of the French Revolution's most enigmatic figure that restores him to his pivotal historic place Since his execution by guillotine in July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre has been contested terrain for historians, at once the most notorious leader of the French Revolution and the least comprehensible. Was he a bloodthirsty charlatan or the only true defender of revolutionary ideals? Was his extreme moralism—he was known as "The Incorruptible"—a heroic virtue or a ruinous flaw? Was he the first modern dictator or the earliest democrat? Against the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution, historian Ruth Scurr follows the trajectory of Robespierre's paradoxical life, from his unprepossessing beginnings as a provincial lawyer opposed to repressive authority and the death penalty, to his meteoric rise in Paris politics as a devastatingly efficient revolutionary leader, righteous and paranoid in equal measure. She explores his reformist zeal, his role in the trial of the king and the fall of the monarchy, his passionate attempt to design a modern republic, even his extraordinary effort to found a perfect religion. And she follows him into the depths of the Terror, as he makes summary execution the order of the day, himself falling victim to the violence at the age of thirty-six. Written with epic sweep, full of nuance and insight, Fatal Purity is a fascinating portrait of a man who identified with the Revolution to the point of madness, and in so doing changed the course of history.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Balzac And Violence

Author : Owen Heathcote
ISBN : 3039105515
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 84.43 MB
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Violence is one of the main themes in the novels of Honore de Balzac. Executions, murders, savagery and death accompany the conspiracies and the turbulence that characterise his post-Revolutionary times, from the Terror to the Napoleonic campaigns and then to the upheavals of 1830 and 1848. Despite the importance of violence in Balzac, this is the first book-length study of the topic. The book begins by tracing the links between violence and Balzac's approach to the novel, not merely in terms of violent content, but, equally importantly, in terms of the "form" associated with that content. Form and content combine to perpetuate and naturalise violence and suffering. After charting examples of this combination in one of Balzac's earliest fictions, the book moves on to the links between violence and history (Catherine de Medicis; the Terror), between violence and place (from his native Touraine to sickness in Paris), and between violence and gender/sexuality. It also examines the representation of violence in the form of spoken or written death. Throughout the analysis, the book asks the following question: do Balzac's novels reinforce or counteract the literary text's apparent love-affair with violence?"
Category: Literary Criticism

The Enlightenment That Failed

Author : Jonathan I. Israel
ISBN : 9780198738404
Genre : History
File Size : 35.27 MB
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The Enlightenment that Failed explores the growing rift between those Enlightenment trends and initiatives that appealed exclusively to elites and those aspiring to enlighten all of society by raising mankind's awareness, freedoms, and educational level generally. Jonathan I. Israel explains why the democratic and radical secularizing tendency of the Western Enlightenment, after gaining some notable successes during the revolutionary era (1775-1820) in numerous countries, especially in Europe, North America, and Spanish America, ultimately failed. He argues that a populist, Robespierriste tendency, sharply at odds with democratic values and freedom of expression, gained an ideological advantage in France, and that the negative reaction this generally provoked caused a more general anti-Enlightenment reaction, a surging anti-intellectualism combined with forms of religious revival that largely undermined the longings of the deprived, underprivileged, and disadvantaged, and ended by helping, albeit often unwittingly, conservative anti-Enlightenment ideologies to dominate the scene. The Enlightenment that Failed relates both the American and the French revolutions to the Enlightenment in a markedly different fashion from how this is usually done, showing how both great revolutions were fundamentally split between bitterly opposed and utterly incompatible ideological tendencies. Radical Enlightenment, which had been an effective ideological challenge to the prevailing monarchical-aristocratic status quo, was weakened, then almost entirely derailed and displaced from the Western consciousness, in the 1830s and 1840s by the rise of Marxism and other forms of socialism.
Category: History

The French Revolution

Author :
ISBN : 9781134456000
Genre : History
File Size : 68.42 MB
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The French Revolution was one of the greatest events in world history, filled with remarkable characters and dramatic events. From its beginning in 1789 to the Reign of Terror in 1793–94, and through the ups and downs of the Directory era that followed, the Revolution showed humanity at its optimistic best and its violent worst; it transformed the lives of all who experienced it. The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics offers a fresh treatment of this perennially popular and hugely significant topic, introducing a bold interpretation of the Revolution that highlights the key role that religion and sexuality played in determining the shape of the Revolution. These were issues that occupied the minds and helped shape the actions of women and men; from the pornographic pamphlets about queen Marie-Antoinette to the puritanical morality of revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, from the revolutionary catechisms that children learned and to the anathemas hurled on the Revolution from clandestine priests in the countryside. The people who lived through the French Revolution were surrounded by messages about gender, sex, religion and faith, concerns which did not exist outside of the events of the Revolution. This book is an essential resource for students of the French Revolution, History of Catholicism and Women and Gender.
Category: History

The Invention Of News

Author : Andrew Pettegree
ISBN : 9780300206227
Genre : History
File Size : 61.44 MB
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“A fascinating account of the gathering and dissemination of news from the end of the Middle Ages to the French Revolution” and the rise of the newspaper (Glenn Altschuler, The Huffington Post). Long before the invention of printing, let alone the daily newspaper, people wanted to stay informed. In the pre-industrial era, news was mostly shared through gossip, sermons, and proclamations. The age of print brought pamphlets, ballads, and the first news-sheets. In this groundbreaking history, renowned historian Andrew Pettegree tracks the evolution of news in ten countries over the course of four centuries, examining the impact of news media on contemporary events and the lives of an ever-more-informed public. The Invention of News sheds light on who controlled the news and who reported it; the use of news as a tool of political protest and religious reform; issues of privacy and titillation; the persistent need for news to be current and for journalists to be trustworthy; and people’s changing sense of themselves and their communities as they experienced newly opened windows on the world. “This expansive view of news and how it reached people will be fascinating to readers interested in communication and cultural history.” —Library Journal (starred review)
Category: History

John Aubrey

Author : Ruth Scurr
ISBN : 9781448190874
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 43.46 MB
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD This is the autobiography that John Aubrey never wrote. You may not know his name. Aubrey was a modest man, a gentleman-scholar who cared far more for the preservation of history than for his own legacy. But he was a passionate collector, an early archaeologist and the inventor of modern biography. With all the wit, charm and originality that characterises her subject, Ruth Scurr has seamlessly stitched together John Aubrey’s own words to tell his life story and a captivating history of seventeenth-century England unlike any other. 'A game-changer in the world of biography' Mary Beard 'Ingenious' Hilary Mantel 'Irresistible' Philip Pullman
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Martyrdom And Terrorism

Author : Dominic Janes
ISBN : 9780199376513
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42.90 MB
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In recent years, terrorism has become closely associated with martyrdom in the minds of many terrorists and in the view of nations around the world. In Islam, martyrdom is mostly conceived as "bearing witness" to faith and God. Martyrdom is also central to the Christian tradition, not only in the form of Christ's Passion or saints faced with persecution and death, but in the duty to lead a good and charitable life. In both religions, the association of religious martyrdom with political terror has a long and difficult history. The essays of this volume illuminate this history--following, for example, Christian martyrdom from its origins in the Roman world, to the experience of the deaths of "terrorist" leaders of the French Revolution, to parallels in the contemporary world--and explore historical parallels among Islamic, Christian, and secular traditions. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in a wide range of disciplines, Martyrdom and Terrorism provides a timely comparative history of the practices and discourses of terrorism and martyrdom from antiquity to the twenty-first century.
Category: Religion

The Oxford Handbook Of Political Leadership

Author : R. A. W. Rhodes
ISBN : 9780191645860
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 57.35 MB
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Political leadership has made a comeback. It was studied intensively not only by political scientists but also by political sociologists and psychologists, Sovietologists, political anthropologists, and by scholars in comparative and development studies from the 1940s to the 1970s. Thereafter, the field lost its way with the rise of structuralism, neo-institutionalism, and rational choice approaches to the study of politics, government, and governance. Recently, however, students of politics have returned to studying the role of individual leaders and the exercise of leadership to explain political outcomes. The list of topics is nigh endless: elections, conflict management, public policy, government popularity, development, governance networks, and regional integration. In the media age, leaders are presented and stage-managed—spun—as the solution to almost every social problem. Through the mass media and the Internet, citizens and professional observers follow the rise, impact, and fall of senior political officeholders at closer quarters than ever before. This Handbook encapsulates the resurgence by asking, where are we today? It orders the multidisciplinary field by identifying the distinct and distinctive contributions of the disciplines. It meets the urgent need to take stock. It brings together scholars from around the world, encouraging a comparative perspective, to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the major disciplines, methods, and regions. It showcases both the normative and empirical traditions in political leadership studies, and juxtaposes behavioural, institutional, and interpretive approaches. It covers formal, office-based as well as informal, emergent political leadership, and in both democratic and undemocratic polities.
Category: Political Science

Thomas Paine

Author : Albert Marrin
ISBN : 9780385386050
Genre : Young Adult Nonfiction
File Size : 85.44 MB
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From National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin comes a compelling look at the life and impact of Thomas Paine and the profound power of ideas. Uneducated as a boy, Thomas Paine grew up to become one of the most influential writers of the 18th century. He brought the world Common Sense, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason; simply written, verbal battles against political, civil, and religious ignorance. Dubbed 'The Father of the American Revolution', Paine began his written reign by fervently proposing the idea of American independence from Great Britain, where he lived before emigrating to the United States in his thirties. As one historical event led to another, Paine continued to divulge his ideas to the public, risking his reputation and even his life. Award-winning author Albert Marrin illustrates the hardships and significance of a man's beliefs and its affects on our nation in a way that all ages can comprehend.
Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

The Smile Revolution

Author : Colin Jones CBE
ISBN : 9780191024856
Genre : History
File Size : 90.83 MB
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You could be forgiven for thinking that the smile has no history; it has always been the same. However, just as different cultures in our own day have different rules about smiling, so did different societies in the past. In fact, amazing as it might seem, it was only in late eighteenth century France that western civilization discovered the art of the smile. In the 'Old Regime of Teeth' which prevailed in western Europe until then, smiling was quite literally frowned upon. Individuals were fatalistic about tooth loss, and their open mouths would often have been visually repulsive. Rules of conduct dating back to Antiquity disapproved of the opening of the mouth to express feelings in most social situations. Open and unrestrained smiling was associated with the impolite lower orders. In late eighteenth-century Paris, however, these age-old conventions changed, reflecting broader transformations in the way people expressed their feelings. This allowed the emergence of the modern smile par excellence: the open-mouthed smile which, while highlighting physical beauty and expressing individual identity, revealed white teeth. It was a transformation linked to changing patterns of politeness, new ideals of sensibility, shifts in styles of self-presentation - and, not least, the emergence of scientific dentistry. These changes seemed to usher in a revolution, a revolution in smiling. Yet if the French revolutionaries initially went about their business with a smile on their faces, the Reign of Terror soon wiped it off. Only in the twentieth century would the white-tooth smile re-emerge as an accepted model of self-presentation. In this entertaining, absorbing, and highly original work of cultural history, Colin Jones ranges from the history of art, literature, and culture to the history of science, medicine, and dentistry, to tell a unique and untold story about a facial expression at the heart of western civilization.
Category: History