Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship, and Authenticity in the French Revolution

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9780198733096: Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship, and Authenticity in the French Revolution

Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution examines the leaders of the French Revolution - Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins - and particularly the gradual process whereby many of them came to 'choose terror'. These men led the Jacobin Club between 1789 and 1794, and were attempting to establish new democratic politics in France. Exploring revolutionary politics through the eyes of these leaders, and against a political backdrop of a series of traumatic events, wars, and betrayals, Marisa Linton portrays the Jacobins as complex human beings who were influenced by emotions and personal loyalties, as well as by their revolutionary ideology.

The Jacobin leaders' entire political careers were constrained by their need to be seen by their supporters as 'men of virtue', free from corruption and ambition, and concerned only with the public good. In the early stages of the Revolution, being seen as 'men of virtue' empowered the Jacobin leaders, and aided them in their efforts to forge their political careers. However, with the onset of war, there was a growing conviction that political leaders who feigned virtue were 'the enemy within', secretly conspiring with France's external enemies. By year two, the year of the Terror, the Jacobin identity had become a destructive force: in order to demonstrate their own authenticity, they had to be seen to act virtuously, and be prepared, if the public good demanded it, to denounce and destroy their friends, and even to sacrifice their own lives. This desperate thinking resulted in the politicians' terror, one of the most ruthless of all forms of terror during the Revolution. Choosing Terror seeks neither to cast blame, nor to exonerate, but to understand the process whereby such things can happen.

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About the Author:


Marisa Linton is a leading historian of the French Revolution. She is currently Reader in History at Kingston University. She has published widely on eighteenth-century France and the French Revolution. She is the author of The Politics of Virtue in Enlightenment France (2001) and the co-editor of Conspiracy in the French Revolution (2007).

Review:

[a] particularly original study * Prof. Jacques Guilhaumou, Revolution Francaise.net [translation] * In her valuable and authoritative book on the Terror, Marisa Linton focuses on why individuals engaged in acts of violence. Her title, Choosing Terror, encapsulates her interpretation. She reframes her question to ask why individuals who first chose revolution later chose Terror. * Jack R. Censer, Journal of Social History * Linton has given us a potent account of how individual revolutionaries faced the Terror ... Linton offers a finely texted and compelling play-by-play, as figures like Jacques-Pierre Brissot, Georges Danton, Robespierre, and Jean Tallien wrestle over each other's fates and the future of France. * Suzanne Desan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History * The book is particularly strong too in its attempts to tease out networks among politicians, whether they were public, as in the press or the Jacobin Club, or private as in meetings, dinners or salons. Such friendships sometimes even pre-dated the Revolution. She [Linton] goes on to argue that these private networks created a tension with the ideal of the virtuous patriot because they opened their participants to allegations of backstairs intrigue, promoting ambition, and hypocrisy. * Donald Sutherland, H-France Forum * One of the interesting arguments made by this book is to show precisely how the configuration of what we call the "Terror" came about as the consequence of a series of gradual and collective political choices, but equally it was a powerful political weapon which inevitably ended by burning the hands of all the protagonists who took hold of it. * Guillaume Mazeau, H-France Forum [translated from French] * Well known to historians for her previous works, Marisa Linton offers us here a book that is sure to arouse debate. So much the better and we should thank her for it ... She concludes her fine book with the call to the judgment of posterity made by those who knew they were doomed ... all had made "Liberty or Death" their watchword, and kept faith with that commitment to the end. * Michel Biard, H-France Forum [translated from French] * a richly textured, well-researched, and thought-provoking account * Jennifer Heuer, H-France Forum * In a splendid study of what she calls the 'politicians' Terror', Marisa Linton provides a convincing analysis of how this tragedy unfolded, when former friends dispatched each other to the guillotine as agents of conspiracy and counter-revolution, destroying a fragile, nascent democracy in the process ... showing in her study how members of the National Convention came to choose Terror. * Malcolm Crook, History * Linton's accomplished book highlights important problems of political authority in an egalitarian age * Sanja Perovic, French Studies * In this important book, Marisa Linton shows with insight and care how [Jean-Marie] Rolands self-image as a man of virtue and honesty was shared among nearly all revolutionary politicians on the Left. * Gary Kates, American Historical Review * Marisa Linton's book has the great advantage of humanising the principal actors of the Revolution, by restoring their emotions, their friendships, and their virtues, as well as their anxieties and enmities. More than this, it puts forward a new reading of the slide into 'terrorism' produced by the fear that stalked them. Her compelling narrative is distinguished by fair judgement and subtle analysis. * Annie Jourdan, La Vie des Idees * an extremely detailed and illuminating account. * Aurelien Mondon, Modern and Contemporary France * Linton's chronological approach allows her to offer many insights into the politicians' personal experience of the Terror * Lynn Hunt, French History * Linton's rigorously researched and documented work renders in intricate detail the personalities, motives, and interrelationships of revolutionary figures caught up in the writhing landscape of the great French political experiment ... Recommended. * J.I. Donohoe, CHOICE * Linton manages to provide a very convincing account of her topic of choice. One of the key strengths of the book is that Linton is never prescriptive; likewise she presents a balanced account throughout, weighing the ideological, strategic, emotional and personal inclinations of the protagonists at every turn. * Aurelien Mondon, Modern & Contemporary France * Marisa Linton's book covers five years of the revolution and integrates a great deal of recent research into an interpretation of the terror which will fascinate the general reader and encourage specialists to extend research into some of the areas she covers. * Hugh Gough, Dublin Review of Books * Marisa Linton's new book is in the best traditions of such careful, detailed, biographically-conscious evaluations. * Dr Dave Andress, Reviews in History * Linton provides a rich analysis of the complex repercussions of both contemporary understanding of the concept of virtue and the revolutionaries' insistence on its central role in political life. In doing so, she works diligently to explore how these widely-held views interacted with the day-to-day lived experience of the Parisian political elite ... The result is a book which gives the familiar narrative of 'descent' into Terror a distinctive - and very human - register * Alex Fairfax-Cholmeley, European History Quarterly * This excellent study ... is a refreshingly existentialist interpretation of revolutionary politics, exploring such politico-philosophical issues as the limits of individual freedom, the power and fear of choosing sides, the striving for authenticity, and the dizzying realisation that one's meaning in the world is often little more than the credibility it carries in the eyes of others ... an original, superbly researched piece of work ... It is to be strongly recommended ... for its highly perceptive and comprehensive understanding of the often neglected personal dynamics of revolutionary politics. * David McCallam, English Historical Review * Linton's book offers a precious and well-documented reassessment of the Terror and its nature. Even though Linton tends sometimes to underestimate political divisions between factions within the Jacobin club (262), the book is a valuable resource for understanding the contest which led to the Terror, in particular the atmosphere of fear and suspicion which increasingly influenced the political life of the young French Republic. * Niccolo Valmori, European Review of History *

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution examines the leaders of the French Revolution - Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins - and particularly the gradual process whereby many of them came to choose terror . These men led the Jacobin Club between 1789 and 1794, and were attempting to establish new democratic politics in France. Exploring revolutionary politics through the eyes of these leaders, and against a political backdrop of a series of traumatic events, wars, and betrayals, Marisa Linton portrays the Jacobins as complex human beings who were influenced by emotions and personal loyalties, as well as by their revolutionary ideology. The Jacobin leaders entire political careers were constrained by their need to be seen by their supporters as men of virtue , free from corruption and ambition, and concerned only with the public good. In the early stages of the Revolution, being seen as men of virtue empowered the Jacobin leaders, and aided them in their efforts to forge their political careers. However, with the onset of war, there was a growing conviction that political leaders who feigned virtue were the enemy within , secretly conspiring with France s external enemies. By year two, the year of the Terror, the Jacobin identity had become a destructive force: in order to demonstrate their own authenticity, they had to be seen to act virtuously, and be prepared, if the public good demanded it, to denounce and destroy their friends, and even to sacrifice their own lives. This desperate thinking resulted in the politicians terror, one of the most ruthless of all forms of terror during the Revolution. Choosing Terror seeks neither to cast blame, nor to exonerate, but to understand the process whereby such things can happen. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780198733096

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution examines the leaders of the French Revolution - Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins - and particularly the gradual process whereby many of them came to choose terror . These men led the Jacobin Club between 1789 and 1794, and were attempting to establish new democratic politics in France. Exploring revolutionary politics through the eyes of these leaders, and against a political backdrop of a series of traumatic events, wars, and betrayals, Marisa Linton portrays the Jacobins as complex human beings who were influenced by emotions and personal loyalties, as well as by their revolutionary ideology. The Jacobin leaders entire political careers were constrained by their need to be seen by their supporters as men of virtue , free from corruption and ambition, and concerned only with the public good. In the early stages of the Revolution, being seen as men of virtue empowered the Jacobin leaders, and aided them in their efforts to forge their political careers. However, with the onset of war, there was a growing conviction that political leaders who feigned virtue were the enemy within , secretly conspiring with France s external enemies. By year two, the year of the Terror, the Jacobin identity had become a destructive force: in order to demonstrate their own authenticity, they had to be seen to act virtuously, and be prepared, if the public good demanded it, to denounce and destroy their friends, and even to sacrifice their own lives. This desperate thinking resulted in the politicians terror, one of the most ruthless of all forms of terror during the Revolution. Choosing Terror seeks neither to cast blame, nor to exonerate, but to understand the process whereby such things can happen. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780198733096

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 2015. Condizione libro: New. Examines the leaders of the French Revolution - Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins - and particularly the gradual process whereby many of them came to 'choose terror', evolving from humanitarian idealists into ruthless politicians, ready to adopt the use of terror to defend the Revolution. Num Pages: 334 pages. BIC Classification: 1DDF; 3JF; HBJD; HBLL; HBTV2. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 234 x 155 x 23. Weight in Grams: 504. . 2015. 1st Edition. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780198733096

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Descrizione libro 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution examines the leaders of the French Revolution - Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins - and particularly the gra.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 334 pages. 0.504. Codice libro della libreria 9780198733096

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