The furies: violence and terror in the French and Russian Revolutions

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Publisher:
Princeton University Press,
Pub. Date:
2000.
Language:
English
Description

The great romance and fear of bloody revolution--strange blend of idealism and terror--have been superseded by blind faith in the bloodless expansion of human rights and global capitalism. Flying in the face of history, violence is dismissed as rare, immoral, and counterproductive. Arguing against this pervasive wishful thinking, the distinguished historian Arno J. Mayer revisits the two most tumultuous and influential revolutions of modern times: the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Although these two upheavals arose in different environments, they followed similar courses. The thought and language of Enlightenment France were the glories of western civilization; those of tsarist Russia's intelligentsia were on its margins. Both revolutions began as revolts vowed to fight unreason, injustice, and inequality; both swept away old regimes and defied established religions in societies that were 85% peasant and illiterate; both entailed the terrifying return of repressed vengeance. Contrary to prevalent belief, Mayer argues, ideologies and personalities did not control events. Rather, the tide of violence overwhelmed the political actors who assumed power and were rudderless. Even the best plans could not stem the chaos that at once benefited and swallowed them. Mayer argues that we have ignored an essential part of all revolutions: the resistances to revolution, both domestic and foreign, which help fuel the spiral of terror.

In his sweeping yet close comparison of the world's two transnational revolutions, Mayer follows their unfolding--from the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Bolshevik Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling and Exploited Masses; the escalation of the initial violence into the reign of terror of 1793-95 and of 1918-21; the dismemberment of the hegemonic churches and religion of both societies; the "externalization" of the terror through the Napoleonic wars; and its "internalization" in Soviet Russia in the form of Stalin's "Terror in One Country." Making critical use of theory, old and new, Mayer breaks through unexamined assumptions and prevailing debates about the attributes of these particular revolutions to raise broader and more disturbing questions about the nature of revolutionary violence attending new foundations.

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9781400823437
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Grouped Work IDd6e9ca03-1c78-3a59-61be-3f8007e29590
Grouping Titlefuries violence and terror in the french and russian revolutions
Grouping Authormayer arno j
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-12-10 02:34:37AM
Last Indexed2019-12-12 03:38:14AM

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ils:.b15563248BookBooksEnglishPrinceton University Press, 2000.xvii, 716 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
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subject_facet
Electronic books
France
France -- Histoire -- 1789-1799 (Re?volution) -- Influence
France -- Histoire -- 1789-1799 (Révolution) -- Influence
France -- Histoire -- 1793-1794
France -- History -- Reign of Terror, 1793-1794
France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Influence
HISTORY
History
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)
Political violence
Political violence -- France
Political violence -- Soviet Union
Reign of Terror (France : 1793-1794)
Revolution (France : 1789-1799)
Revolution (Soviet Union : 1917-1921)
Soviet Union
Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Influence
Terreur -- URSS
Terror
Terror -- Soviet Union
URSS -- Histoire -- 1917-1921 (Re?volution) -- Influence
URSS -- Histoire -- 1917-1921 (Révolution) -- Influence
USSR -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Influence
Violence politique -- France
Violence politique -- URSS
title_displayThe furies : violence and terror in the French and Russian Revolutions
title_fullThe furies : violence and terror in the French and Russian Revolutions / Arno J. Mayer
The furies [electronic resource] : violence and terror in the French and Russian Revolutions / Arno J. Mayer
title_shortThe furies
title_subviolence and terror in the French and Russian Revolutions
topic_facetHISTORY
Histoire
History
Influence
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)
Political violence
Terreur
Terror
Violence politique