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The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions
The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions (Hardback)
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Product Synopsis

The great romance and fear of bloody revolution - a strange blend of idealism and terror - have been superseded by blind faith in the bloodless expansion of human rights and global capitalism.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, 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 per cent 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

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