Two studies from David Andress that take us from freedom to slaughter in the name of freedom in five short years.


1789 : the threshold of the modern age      David Andress  Europe History 1789-1815  New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009 Hardcover.     1st American ed. and printing. vi, 439 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [399]-422) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marg inalia in text.  VG/VG

From the inauguration of George Washington to the birth of the cotton trade in the American South, from the British Empire’s war in India to the street battles of the French Revolution, Andress shows how the struggles of this explosive year would dominate the Old and New Worlds for the next 200 years.

The world in 1789 stood on the edge of a unique transformation. At the end of an unprecedented century of progress, the fates of three nations -France, the nascent United States, and their common enemy, Britain – lay interlocked. A year of revolution was crowned in two documents drafted at almost the same time: the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the American Bill of Rights. These texts gave the world a new political language and promised to foreshadow new revolutions, even in Britain. But as the French Revolution spiraled into chaos and slavery experienced a rebirth in America, it seemed that the budding code of individual rights would forever be matched by equally powerful systems of repression and control. David Andress reveals how these events and the men who led them stood at the threshold of the modern world.

The Terror : the merciless war for freedom in revolutionary France      David Andress  France History Reign of Terror, 1793-1794  New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006 Hardcover. 1st American ed. and printing. 441 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 403-427) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

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?

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