In 1989, from East Berlin to Budapest and Bucharest to Moscow, communism was falling. The walls were coming down and the world was being changed in ways that seemed entirely new. The conflict of ideas and ideals that began with the French Revolution of 1789 culminated in these revolutions, which raised the prospects of the "return to Europe" of East and Central European nations, the "restarting of their history," even, for some, the "end of history." What such assertions and aspirations meant, and what the larger events that inspired them mean-not just for the world of history and politics, but for our very understanding of that world-are the questions Krishan Kumar explores in 1989.
A well-known and widely respected scholar, Kumar places these revolutions of 1989 in the broadest framework of political and social thought, helping us see how certain ideas, traditions, and ideological developments influenced or accompanied these movements-and how they might continue to play out. Asking questions about some of the central dilemmas facing modern society in the new century, Kumar offers critical insight into how these questions might be answered and how political, social, and historical ideas and ideals can shape our destiny.
Contradictions Series, volume 12
In May 1782, Colonel William Crawford led over 450 volunteers across Ohio to attack British-allied Native Americans who had been raiding the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia for years. An experienced yet reluctant commander, Crawford and his men clashed with a similarly sized force of British Rangers and Wyandot, Delaware, and Shawnee Indians on the Sandusky River in early June. After three days, the Americans were routed in one of the worst defeats American arms suffered on the frontier during the American Revolution. During the retreat, Native American warriors captured dozens of men, including Colonel Crawford. Many were horrifically tortured to death in revenge for the Gnadenhutten massacre earlier that spring, when American volunteers bludgeoned nearly one hundred unarmed and unresisting Delaware Indians to death.
The Battle of Upper Sandusky, 1782 places military operations at the forefront of events in the waning months of the American Revolution on the frontier. Importantly, it gives long-deserved credit to Native American leaders, particularly Dunquat of the Wyandot and Hopocan of the Delaware, for their roles and commands on the battlefield. For over two centuries, their victory was attributed to the presence of British Rangers and a few officers, but Dunquat and Hopocan made the critical decisions before and after the battle while Native American warriors constituted the bulk of their army.
The book also reconsiders the effectiveness of American operations. Crawford was an unenthusiastic commander who had to be talked into leading the campaign to help prevent a repeat of the Gnadenhutten massacre. Despite his long service on the frontier and experience in the Continental Army, Crawford failed to unite his ad hoc command, suffered from constant indecision, and could not put his own stamp on the campaign. The unprofessional nature of his army also contributed to its defeat as it lacked organization, experience, leadership, training, and standardization.
The presence of Simon Girty, demonized by Americans on the frontier as a turncoat, and the gruesomeness of Crawford’s execution focused stories about the campaign on those two individuals, rather than the military operations themselves or the Indians who won the victory. Myths were accepted as fact. Afterward, interest in the campaign and the combatants faded. The Battle of Upper Sandusky, 1782 gives Crawford’s campaign its proper place as one of the largest battles between frontier forces and Native Americans during the Revolutionary War.
For those who lived in the wake of the French Revolution, from the storming of the Bastille to Napoleon’s final defeat, its aftermath left a profound wound that no subsequent king, emperor, or president could heal. Children of the Revolution follows the ensuing generations who repeatedly tried and failed to come up with a stable regime after the trauma of 1789. The process encouraged fresh and often murderous oppositions between those who were for, and those who were against, the Revolution’s values. Bearing the scars of their country’s bloody struggle, and its legacy of deeply divided loyalties, the French lived the long nineteenth century in the shadow of the revolutionary age.Despite the ghosts raised in this epic tale, Robert Gildea has written a richly engaging and provocative book. His is a strikingly unfamiliar France, a country with an often overwhelming gap between Paris and the provinces, a country torn apart by fratricidal hatreds and a tortured history of feminism, the site of political catastrophes and artistic triumphs, and a country that managed—despite a pervasive awareness of its own fall from grace—to fix itself squarely at the heart of modernity. Indeed, Gildea reveals how the collective recognition of the great costs of the Revolution galvanized the French to achieve consensus in a new republic and to integrate the tumultuous past into their sense of national identity. It was in this spirit that France’s young men went to the front in World War I with a powerful sense of national confidence and purpose.
Between 1793 and 1794, thousands of French citizens were imprisoned and hundreds sent to the guillotine by a powerful dictatorship that claimed to be acting in the public interest. Only a few years earlier, revolutionaries had proclaimed a new era of tolerance, equal justice, and human rights. How and why did the French Revolution’s lofty ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity descend into violence and terror?“By attending to the role of emotions in propelling the Terror, Tackett steers a more nuanced course than many previous historians have managed…Imagined terrors, as…Tackett very usefully reminds us, can have even more political potency than real ones.”—David A. Bell, The Atlantic“[Tackett] analyzes the mentalité of those who became ‘terrorists’ in 18th-century France…In emphasizing weakness and uncertainty instead of fanatical strength as the driving force behind the Terror…Tackett…contributes to an important realignment in the study of French history.”—Ruth Scurr, The Spectator“[A] boldly conceived and important book…This is a thought-provoking book that makes a major contribution to our understanding of terror and political intolerance, and also to the history of emotions more generally. It helps expose the complexity of a revolution that cannot be adequately understood in terms of principles alone.”—Alan Forrest, Times Literary Supplement
Russians from all walks of life poured into the streets of the imperial capital after the February Revolution of 1917, joyously celebrating the end of Tsar Nicholas II’s monarchy. One year later, with Lenin’s Bolsheviks now in power, Petrograd’s deserted streets presented a very different scene. No celebrations marked the Revolution’s anniversary. Amid widespread civil strife and lawlessness, a fearful citizenry stayed out of sight.In Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa offers a new perspective on Russia’s revolutionary year through the lens of violent crime and its devastating effect on ordinary people. When the Provisional Government assumed power after Nicholas II’s abdication, it set about instituting liberal reforms, including eliminating the tsar’s regular police. But dissolving this much-hated yet efficient police force and replacing it with a new municipal police led rapidly to the breakdown of order and services. Amid the chaos, crime flourished. Gangs of criminals, deserters, and hooligans brazenly roamed the streets. Mass prison escapes became common. And vigilantism spread widely as ordinary citizens felt compelled to take the law into their own hands, often meting out mob justice on suspected wrongdoers.The Bolsheviks swept into power in the October Revolution but had no practical plans to reestablish order. As crime continued to escalate and violent alcohol riots almost drowned the revolutionary regime, they redefined it as “counterrevolutionary activity,” to be dealt with by the secret police, whose harshly repressive, extralegal means of enforcement helped pave the way for a Communist dictatorship.
Two centuries later, the French Revolution—that extraordinary event that founded modern democracy—continues to give rise to a reevaluation of essential questions. The ambition of this magnificent volume is not only to present the reader with the research of a wide range of international scholars on those questions, but also to bring one into the heart of the issues still under lively debate.Its form is as original as its goal: neither dictionary, in the traditional sense of the word, nor encyclopedia, it is deliberately limited to some ninety-nine entries organized alphabetically by key words and themes under five major headings: events, including the Estates General and the Terror; actors, such as Marie Antoinette, Marat, and Napoleon Bonaparte; institutions and creations, among them Revolutionary Calendar and Suffrage; ideas, covering, for example, Ancien Régime, the American Revolution, and Liberty; and historians and commentators, from Hegel to Tocqueville. In addition, there are synoptic indexes of names and themes that give the reader easy access to the entire volume as well as a key to its profound coherence.What unifies all the varied topics brought together in this dictionary is their authors’ effort to be “critical.” As such, the book rejects the dogmatism of closed systems and definitive interpretations. Its aim is less to make a complete inventory of the findings of the history of the French Revolution than to take stock of what remains problematical about those findings; this work thus offers the additional special quality of incorporating the rich historiographical literature unceasingly elaborated since 1789.With A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, François Furet and Mona Ozouf invite the reader to recross the first two centuries of French democracy in order to gain a better understanding of the origins of the world in which we live today.
While most books and articles on Cuba seek to analyse the island’s socialist experiment from the perspective of internal dynamics or international relations, this book attempts to understand the revolutionary process as part of a counter-current against neoliberal globalisation.
Rather than presenting Cuba as a socialist survivor, whose performance must be measured against the standards set by the ‘international community’, George Lambie judges Cuban socialism on the goals which the revolution sets for itself. He shows that despite Cuba’s isolation in the ‘New World Order’, and the enormous pressures it has faced to ‘conform’, its faith in an alternative socialist project has continued and grown.
Now that neoliberalism is in crisis, Cuba’s promotion of socialist values is finding a renewed relevance. In this fascinating study Lambie argues that Cuba is again becoming a symbol, and practical example, of socialism in action. This book is essential reading for students of politics and Latin American studies.
On January 2, 1959, Fidel Castro, the rebel comandante who had just overthrown Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, addressed a crowd of jubilant supporters. Recalling the failed popular uprisings of past decades, Castro assured them that this time “the real Revolution” had arrived. As Jonathan Brown shows in this capacious history of the Cuban Revolution, Castro’s words proved prophetic not only for his countrymen but for Latin America and the wider world.Cuba’s Revolutionary World examines in forensic detail how the turmoil that rocked a small Caribbean nation in the 1950s became one of the twentieth century’s most transformative events. Initially, Castro’s revolution augured well for democratic reform movements gaining traction in Latin America. But what had begun promisingly veered off course as Castro took a heavy hand in efforts to centralize Cuba’s economy and stamp out private enterprise. Embracing the Soviet Union as an ally, Castro and his lieutenant Che Guevara sought to export the socialist revolution abroad through armed insurrection.Castro’s provocations inspired intense opposition. Cuban anticommunists who had fled to Miami found a patron in the CIA, which actively supported their efforts to topple Castro’s regime. The unrest fomented by Cuban-trained leftist guerrillas lent support to Latin America’s military castes, who promised to restore stability. Brazil was the first to succumb to a coup in 1964; a decade later, military juntas governed most Latin American states. Thus did a revolution that had seemed to signal the death knell of dictatorship in Latin America bring about its tragic opposite.
Mao Zedong envisioned a great struggle to "wreak havoc under the heaven" when he launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966. But as radicalized Chinese youth rose up against Party officials, events quickly slipped from the government's grasp, and rebellion took on a life of its own. Turmoil became a reality in a way the Great Leader had not foreseen. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins recaptures these formative moments from the perspective of the disenfranchised and disobedient rebels Mao unleashed and later betrayed.The Cultural Revolution began as a "revolution from above," and Mao had only a tenuous relationship with the Red Guard students and workers who responded to his call. Yet it was these young rebels at the grassroots who advanced the Cultural Revolution's more radical possibilities, Yiching Wu argues, and who not only acted for themselves but also transgressed Maoism by critically reflecting on broader issues concerning Chinese socialism. As China's state machinery broke down and the institutional foundations of the PRC were threatened, Mao resolved to suppress the crisis. Leaving out in the cold the very activists who had taken its transformative promise seriously, the Cultural Revolution devoured its children and exhausted its political energy.The mass demobilizations of 1968-69, Wu shows, were the starting point of a series of crisis-coping maneuvers to contain and neutralize dissent, producing immense changes in Chinese society a decade later.
This classic work in subaltern studies explores the common elements present in rebel consciousness during the Indian colonial period. Ranajit Guha—intellectual founder of the groundbreaking and influential Subaltern Studies Group—describes from the peasants’ viewpoint the relations of dominance and subordination in rural India from 1783 to 1900.Challenging the idea that peasants were powerless agents who rebelled blindly against British imperialist oppression and local landlord exploitation, Guha emphasizes their awareness and will to effect political change. He suggests that the rebellions represented the birth of a theoretical consciousness and asserts that India’s long subaltern tradition lent power to the landmark insurgence led by Mahatma Gandhi. Yet as long as landlord authority remains dominant in a ruling culture, Guha claims, all mass struggles will tend to model themselves after the unfinished projects documented in this book.Students and scholars will welcome this paperback edition of Guha’s 1983 original, which was distributed on a limited scale in the United States. It will influence new generations studying colonialism, postcolonialism, subaltern studies, historiography, anthropology, and Indian, Asian, and Latin American history.
Festivals and the French Revolution—the subject conjures up visions of goddesses of Liberty, strange celebrations of Reason, and the oddly pretentious cult of the Supreme Being. Every history of the period includes some mention of festivals, although most historians have been content either to ridicule them as ineffectual or to bemoan them as repugnant examples of a sterile, official culture. Mona Ozouf shows us that they were much more than bizarre marginalia to the revolutionary process. Festivals offer critical insights into the meaning of the French Revolution; they show a society in the process of creating itself anew.Historians have recognized the importance of the revolutionary festival as a symbol of the Revolution. But they have differed widely in their interpretations of what that symbol meant and have considered the festivals as diverse as the rival political groups that conceived and organized them. Against this older vision, Ozouf argues for the fundamental coherence and profound unity of the festival as both event and register of reference and attitude. By comparing the most ideologically opposed festivals (those of Reason and the Supreme Being, for instance), she shows that they clearly share a common aim, which finds expression in a mutual ceremonial and symbolic vocabulary. Through a brilliant discussion of the construction, ordering, and conduct of the festival Ozouf demonstrates how the continuity of the images, allegories, ceremonials, and explicit functions can be seen as the Revolution’s own commentary on itself.A second and important aim of this book is to show that this system of festivals, often seen as destructive, was an immensely creative force. The festival was the mirror in which the Revolution chose to see itself and the pedagogical tool by which it hoped to educate future generations, Far from being a failure, it embodied, socialized, and made sacred a new set of values based on the family, the nation, and mankind—the values of a modern, secular, liberal world.
This is a relatively brief, interpretive treatment of the man whom Bakunin called “the greatest conspirator of the century” but whom most English-speaking scholars know, if at all, as an obscure, misspelled name. This is the only English biography of Buonarroti and the only book in any language to treat him as “the first professional revolutionist.” It provides a detailed historiographical analysis of recent Italian Buonarrotian research, bearing on a wide variety of different special aspects of modern European history. It throws light on the conspiratorial underground of the early nineteenth century, on the relationship between the French Revolution and nineteenth century radical movements, on the historiography of the French Revolution, and on the development of the ideology of the totalitarian Left. Perhaps the main contribution made by this study is to provide precise factual data on aspects of pre-Marxian radicalism that have been heretofore treated in a vague, overgeneralized fashion.Buonarroti is regarded as the focal point for a preliminary investigation into the origins of an important but neglected profession which developed during the early nineteenth century. In the introduction, a distinction is drawn between the “amateur” revolutionist—the doctor, lawyer, or merchant who played a prominent role in various particular revolutions—and the frequently unemployed professional who attempted to create a situation that would make possible the practice of his craft and who had a vested interest in “revolution” in general but did not necessarily play a part in any particular revolution.In the following chapters, the entire course of Buonarroti’s long career is surveyed chronologically, in an effort to account for the emergence of this new type of man. He is viewed as a youthful disciple of Rousseau, studying law at the University of Pisa; as a follower of Robespierre who served as a Jacobin agent in Corsica and Oneglia and was granted French citizenship by the National Convention; as a colleague of Babeuf and later author of the classic account of the Conspiracy of the Equals; as a political prisoner during the Empire who was involved in anti-Bonapartist plots; as the arch-conspirator whose agents infiltrated the revolutionary secret societies of Metternich’s Europe; as Mazzini’s rival in the Risorgimento; and finally, as the patriarch venerated by radical Frenchmen, who indoctrinated a new generation of young Parisians while directing political propaganda and agitation against the Orleanist Regime and reshaping the mythology of the French Revolution. At each of these stages of Buonarroti’s career, his ideological orientation is analyzed, his present position in historiography examined, and his actual historical contribution suggested.The concluding chapter offers a reappraisal of the historical significance of Buonarroti’s life and work. As a secular fundamentalist who took the words of the eighteenth-century philosophers literally and as a devout Jacobin who had seen in the First Republic his “heavenly city” materialize on earth, Buonarroti was incapable of coming to terms with the post-Thermidorian world. He achieved a new career by remaining frozen in the heroic pose of 1793 while outliving his times by over four decades. Although he dedicated his life to preparing for the great day that would restore the First Republic and thus shake the world, he failed to accomplish the mission he had set himself. However, he succeeded as a prototype. Others were eventually inspired by his example to adopt a similar vocation, with fateful consequence to all of Western civilization.The study concludes with a bibliographical essay containing a brief note on the probable role of the Italian Communist Party in stimulating Buonarrotian research in Italy and extensive critical discussion of selected scholarly literature on the various phases of Buonarroti’s career.
Here is the history of the disintegration of the Russian Empire, and the emergence, on its ruins, of a multinational Communist state. In this revealing account, Richard Pipes tells how the Communists exploited the new nationalism of the peoples of the Ukraine, Belorussia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Volga-Ural area--first to seize power and then to expand into the borderlands.The Formation of the Soviet Union acquires special relevance in the post-Soviet era, when the ethnic groups described in the book once again reclaimed their independence, this time apparently for good.In a 1996 Preface to the Revised Edition, Pipes suggests how material recently released from the Russian archives might supplement his account.
While today's presidential tweets may seem a light-year apart from the scratch of quill pens during the era of the American Revolution, the importance of political communication is eternal. This book explores the roles that political narratives, media coverage, and evolving communication technologies have played in precipitating, shaping, and concluding or prolonging wars and revolutions over the course of US history. The case studies begin with the Sons of Liberty in the era of the American Revolution, cover American wars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and conclude with a look at the conflict against ISIS in the Trump era. Special chapters also examine how propagandists shaped American perceptions of two revolutions of international significance: the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution. Each chapter analyzes its subject through the lens of the messengers, messages, and communications-technology-media to reveal the effects on public opinion and the trajectory and conduct of the conflict. The chapters collectively provide an overview of the history of American strategic communications on wars and revolutions that will interest scholars, students, and communications strategists.
Although more general accounts of the Left’s “failure” to halt international war in August 1914 focus on its lack of unity or the decline of trade unionism, Miller contends that these explanations barely scratch the surface when it comes to interpreting the Left’s overwhelming acceptance of the war. By embedding his cultural analysis of antimilitarist propaganda into the larger political and diplomatic history of prewar Europe, he reveals the Left’s seemingly sudden transformation “from revolutionaries to citizens” as less a failure of resolve than a confession of commonality with the broader ideals of republican France. Examining sources ranging from police files and court records to German and British foreign office memos, Miller emphasizes the success of antimilitarism as a rallying cry against social and political inequities on behalf of ordinary citizens. Despite their keen awareness of the bloodletting that awaited Europe, he claims, antimilitarists ultimately accepted the war with Germany for the same reason they had pursued their own struggle within France: to address injustices and defend the rights of citizens in a democratic society.
Winner of the 2022 London Hellenic PrizeOn the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, an essential guide to the momentous war for independence of the Greeks from the Ottoman Empire.The Greek war for independence (1821–1830) often goes missing from discussion of the Age of Revolutions. Yet the rebellion against Ottoman rule was enormously influential in its time, and its resonances are felt across modern history. The Greeks inspired others to throw off the oppression that developed in the backlash to the French Revolution. And Europeans in general were hardly blind to the sight of Christian subjects toppling Muslim rulers. In this collection of essays, Paschalis Kitromilides and Constantinos Tsoukalas bring together scholars writing on the many facets of the Greek Revolution and placing it squarely within the revolutionary age.An impressive roster of contributors traces the revolution as it unfolded and analyzes its regional and transnational repercussions, including the Romanian and Serbian revolts that spread the spirit of the Greek uprising through the Balkans. The essays also elucidate religious and cultural dimensions of Greek nationalism, including the power of the Orthodox church. One essay looks at the triumph of the idea of a Greek “homeland,” which bound the Greek diaspora—and its financial contributions—to the revolutionary cause. Another essay examines the Ottoman response, involving a series of reforms to the imperial military and allegiance system. Noted scholars cover major figures of the revolution; events as they were interpreted in the press, art, literature, and music; and the impact of intellectual movements such as philhellenism and the Enlightenment.Authoritative and accessible, The Greek Revolution confirms the profound political significance and long-lasting cultural legacies of a pivotal event in world history.
Utah, now one of the most conservative states, has a long tradition of left-wing radicalism. Early Mormon settlers set a precedent with the United Order and other experiments with a socialistic economy. The tradition continued into the more recent past with New Left, anti-apartheid, and other radicals. Throughout, Utah radicalism usually reflected national and international developments. Recounting its long history, McCormick and Sillito focus especially on the Socialist Party of America, which reached a peak of political influence in the first two decades of the twentieth century—in Utah and across the nation.
At least 115 Socialists in over two dozen Utah towns and cities were elected to office in that period, and on seven occasions they controlled governments of five different municipalities. This is a little-known story worth a closer look. Histories of Socialism in the United States have tended to forsake attention to specific, local cases and situations in favor of broader overviews of the movement. By looking closely at Utah's experience, this book helps unravel how American Socialism briefly flowered before rapidly withering in the early twentieth century. It also broadens the conventional understanding of Utah history.
The year’s best articles from the leading on-line source of new research on the American Revolution and Founding Eras
The Journal of the American Revolution, Annual Volume 2023, presents the journal’s best historical research and writing over the past calendar year. The volume is designed for institutions, scholars, and enthusiasts to provide a convenient overview of the latest research and scholarship in American Revolution and Founding Era studies. Chosen by the Journal's editorial board, this year's articles are:
Charles Thomson and the Delaware by James M. Smith
Benjamin Franklin’s Unconventional Marriage to Deborah Read by Nancy Rubin Stuart
Governor William Franklin: Sagorighweyoghsta, “Great Arbiter” or “Doer of Justice” by Joseph E. Wroblewski
One of the “Powers for Good in the World:” Mercy Otis Warren by James M. Deitch
The British Soldiers Who Marched to Concord, April 19, 1775 by Don N. Hagist
Virginian Ned Streater, African American Minute Man by Patrick H. Hannum
The 1775 Duel Between Henry Laurens and John Faucheraud Grimké by Aaron J. Palmer
Washington’s Final Retreat: Asylum? by Alexander Lenarchyk
George III’s (Implicit) Sanction of the American Revolution by M. Andrew Holowchak
Edward Hand’s American Journey by David Price
Jemima Howe, Frontier Pioneer to Wealthy Widow by Jane Strachan
Hell’s Half-Acre: The Fall of Loyalist Crean Brush by Eric Wiser
Thomas Plumb, British Soldier, Writes Home from Rhode Island by Don N. Hagist
Unraveling the Beginning and Final Phasesin the Emergence of the French Alliance by Marvin L. Simner
Marinus Willett: The Exploits of an Unheralded War Hero by Richard J. Werther
Point/Counterpoint, 1777 Style: Dueling Proclamations from Israel Putnam and William Tryon by Todd W. Braisted
Did George Washington Swear at Charles Lee During the Battle of Monmouth? by Christian McBurney
Black Drummers in a Redcoat Regiment by Don N. Hagist
Under the Banner of War: Frontier Militia and Uncontrolled Violence by Timothy C. Hemmis
Rhode Island Acts to Prevent an Enslaved Family from Being Transported to the South by Christian McBurney
British Soldier John Ward Wins Back His Pocketbook by Don N. Hagist
Anthony Wayne’s Repulse at Bull’s Ferry, July 21, 1780 by Jim Piecuch
Two Hurricanes One Week Apart in 1780 by Bob Ruppert
Top Ten Weather Interventions by Don N. Hagist
The Fruits of Victory: Loyalist Prisoners in the Aftermath of Kings Mountain by William Caldwell
Top Ten Quotes by Francis Lord Rawdon by Todd W. Braisted
Russia and the Armed Neutrality of 1780 by Eric Sterner
Prelude to Yorktown: Washington and Rochambeau in New York by Benjamin Huggins
The Abdication(s) of King George III by Bob Ruppert
Jemima Howe: Two Competing Captivity Narratives by Jane Strachan
The Articles of Confederation—A Silver Lining by Richard J. Werther
Undeceived: Who Would Write the Political Story of the Revolution? by James M. Smith
Partisan Politics and the Laws Which Shaped the First Congress by Samuel T. Lair
“Characters Pre-eminent for Virtue and Ability”: The First Partisan Application of the Electoral College by Shawn David McGhee
Weaponizing Impeachment: Justice Samuel Chase and President Thomas Jefferson’s Battle Over the Process by Al Dickenson
Insurrection and Speculation: A Farmer, Financier, and a Surprising “Sharper” Seeded the Constitution by Scott M. Smith
Natural History in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary America by Matteo Giuliani
A Great Englishman? British Views of George Washington, from Revolution to Rapprochement by Sam Edwards
The Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 were often portrayed in the media as a dawn of democracy in the region. But the revolutionaries were—and saw themselves as—heirs to a centuries-long struggle for just government and the rule of law, a struggle obstructed by local elites as well as the interventions of foreign powers. Elizabeth F. Thompson uncovers the deep roots of liberal constitutionalism in the Middle East through the remarkable stories of those who fought against poverty, tyranny, and foreign rule.Fascinating, sometimes quixotic personalities come to light: Tanyus Shahin, the Lebanese blacksmith who founded a peasant republic in 1858; Halide Edib, the feminist novelist who played a prominent role in the 1908 Ottoman constitutional revolution; Ali Shariati, the history professor who helped ignite the 1979 Iranian Revolution; Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who rallied Egyptians to Tahrir Square in 2011, and many more. Their memoirs, speeches, and letters chart the complex lineage of political idealism, reform, and violence that informs today’s Middle East.Often depicted as inherently anti-democratic, Islam was integral to egalitarian movements that sought to correct imbalances of power and wealth wrought by the modern global economy—and by global war. Motivated by a memory of betrayal at the hands of the Great Powers after World War I and in the Cold War, today’s progressives assert a local tradition of liberal constitutionalism that has often been stifled but never extinguished.
Widely recognized as modern China’s preeminent man of letters, Lu Xun (1881–1936) is revered as the voice of a nation’s conscience, a writer comparable to Shakespeare and Tolstoy in stature and influence. Gloria Davies’s portrait now gives readers a better sense of this influential author by situating the man Mao Zedong hailed as “the sage of modern China” in his turbulent time and place.In Davies’s vivid rendering, we encounter a writer passionately engaged with the heady arguments and intrigues of a country on the eve of revolution. She traces political tensions in Lu Xun’s works which reflect the larger conflict in modern Chinese thought between egalitarian and authoritarian impulses. During the last phase of Lu Xun’s career, the so-called “years on the left,” we see how fiercely he defended a literature in which the people would speak for themselves, and we come to understand why Lu Xun continues to inspire the debates shaping China today.Although Lu Xun was never a Communist, his legacy was fully enlisted to support the Party in the decades following his death. Far from the apologist of political violence portrayed by Maoist interpreters, however, Lu Xun emerges here as an energetic opponent of despotism, a humanist for whom empathy, not ideological zeal, was the key to achieving revolutionary ends. Limned with precision and insight, Lu Xun’s Revolution is a major contribution to the ongoing reappraisal of this foundational figure.
The insurrection of 31 May-2 June 1793 that overthrew the Girondins and brought the Montagnards to power was a decisive event in the history of the French Revolution. Morris Slavin's study is the first that discusses the background, the mechanisms, and the immediate results of the uprising, as well as the hidden forces that produced it and the contradictions that were inherent in it from the beginning.Slavin's approach to the controversy between the Gironde and the Mountain is from below (d'en bas), from the vantage point of the sections of Paris and their extralegal assembly, the Eveche assembly, and its Comite des Neuf. He shows how and why the Montagnards used the insurrectionary organs created by the sans-culottes for their own purposes, and how the Montagnards won them over against their Girondin enemies by granting the sans-culottes economic concessions, at the same time disarming them politically.This revelation of the profound differences between the sans-culottes and the Montagnards on the goals of the insurrection is a major contribution to understanding French revolutionary behavior. Slavin finds that the rank and file in the pro-Girondin sections were just as self-sacrificing and just as patriotic as the followers of the Mountain. The dispute between the Girondins and the Montagnards was an intraclass contest, not a class struggle.
Fifty years after the declaration of the state of emergency, Mau Mau still excites argument and controversy, not least in Kenya itself. Mau Mau and Nationhood is a collection of essays providing the most recent thinking on the uprising and its aftermath.
The work of well-established scholars as well as of young researchers with fresh perspectives, Mau Mau and Nationhood achieves a multilayered analysis of a subject of enduring interest. According to Terence Ranger, Emeritus Rhodes Professor, Oxford, “In some ways the historiography of Mau Mau is a supreme example not only of ambiguity and complexity, but also of redemption of a topic once thought incapable of rational analysis.”
The Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 and the ensuing communist regime have often been portrayed as a man’s revolution, with women as bystanders or even victims. Midwives of the Revolution examines the powerful contribution made by women to the overthrow of tsarism in 1917 and their importance in the formative years of communism in Russia.
Focusing on the masses as well as the high-ranking intelligentsia, Midwives of the Revolution is the first sustained analysis of female involvement in the revolutionary era of Russian history. The authors investigate the role of Bolshevik women and the various forms their participation took. Drawing on the experiences of representative individuals, the authors discuss the important relationship between Bolshevik women and the workers in the turbulent months of 1917.
The authors demonstrate that women were an integral part of the revolutionary process and challenge assumptions that they served merely to ignite an essentially masculine revolt. By placing women center stage, without exaggerating their roles, this study enriches our understanding of a momentous event in twentieth-century history.
The ending of absolute, centralized monarchy and the beginning of political combat between nobles and commoners make the years 1787 to 1788 the first stage of the French Revolution. In a detailed examination of this critical transition, Vivian Gruder examines how the French people became engaged in a movement of opposition that culminated in demands for the public's role in government.Gruder traces the growing involvement of the French people in the public issues of the day, leading to increased politicization. The debates of the Assembly of Notables in early 1787 aroused public support against the monarchy and in late 1788 confirmed public opposition to the nobility. The media--including newspapers and newsletters, pamphlets, literary societies, songs, iconography, and festive activities--disseminated messages of opposition and gave voice to popular aspirations for change. At hundreds of community assemblies throughout France in late 1788, people showed remarkable astuteness about such political issues as voting and representation and demonstrated a capacity for mobilization.The Notables and the Nation contributes to a renewed interest in the political origins of the French Revolution. It argues that a "bourgeois" revolution did take place as a movement for political aspirations, and invites us to witness the birth of popular representative government.
Did barristers as a professional group support the French Revolution, or were they most often “in flight from politics”? A close inquiry into the Order of Barristers at Paris—the largest and most important in France, with over six hundred members in 1789—reveals that the vast majority within the Order did not support the Revolution. Unsympathetic to the ideal of the nation asserted by the National Assembly, most members of the Order instead remained loyal to the traditional corporate paradigm that the National Assembly had specifically repudiated. Dismayed by the abolition of their Order, they were disillusioned with the Revolution even before the advent of the Terror, which, along with the arbitrariness of the Directory, deepened their disaffection. The manner in which Bonaparte ultimately restored the Order in 1811 completed their alienation from the Revolution and, as a result, they warmly welcomed the return of the Bourbons in 1814.This investigation not only revises what historians have long thought of the attitude of barristers toward the French Revolution, but also offers insights into the corporate character of Old Regime society and how the Revolution affected it. Fitzsimmons’s study suggests that many propertied commoners during the Revolution were not politically engaged, that they were not necessarily associated with a party or cause simply because of their place within a set of social relationships. Most of the barristers to the Parlement simply reacted timidly to events and yearned for an ideal that was irretrievably lost, tending to view the Revolution more in terms of an end than of a beginning.
It is commonly agreed that the history of France at the end of the eighteenth century was influenced powerfully, at times decisively, by collective interests and group actions. Yet, as Philip Dawson shows, this consensus has been the foundation of endless scholarly argument over the purposes of group actions and their effects on economic, political, and intellectual life, the accuracy of facts reported, the validity of different methods of analysis, and the significance of the whole topic for previous and subsequent human experience. In probing these questions, this monograph contributes research findings to the historical controversy over the political motives and conduct of the upper bourgeoisie during the French Revolution.Chosen for study is a well-defined occupational group near the pinnacle of the bourgeoisie, the 2700 judicial officeholders in the bailliages and sénéchaussées--royal courts from which appeals were taken to the parlements. These lower-court magistrates were generally well-to-do and esteemed personages in the provincial bourgeoisie, who could potentially be drawn to either side in a political struggle between nobility and bourgeoisie. They constituted more than 20 percent of the bourgeois representation in the Estates General of 1789. Revolutionary legislation abolished their offices, but many of them remained active in politics even under the revolutionary republic.Dawson makes use of a variety of manuscript materials pertinent to the magistrates as he treats their activities as members of corporate groups before 1790 and follows many of them as individuals through the revolutionary years to 1795. In part, the book is based on biographical data relating to 230 magistrates--all who were in office in the provinces of Burgundy and Poitou at the outbreak of the revolution.By the end of 1789, the author concludes, most of the magistrates came to accept revolutionary change because alternative courses of action had been made more unacceptable to them. It was their support that helped to make possible the revolutionary process itself. "They were not the leaders of the revolutionary bourgeoisie. Before 1789, they had been in the highest rank of the bourgeoisie and they remained a notable part of it, but most of them had come to support revolution hesitantly, cautiously, with moderation and many a backward glance."
In the early years of the Vietnamese Revolution—the 1920s and 1930s—radicalism was the dominant force in anticolonial politics. The subsequent displacement of radicalism by communism, however, has obscured radicalism’s role as a nonideological reaction to both colonial rule and native accommodation to that rule. Hue-Tam Ho Tai seeks to redress the influence of radicalism on this crucial point in Vietnamese history. She reveals a vibrant and explosive era of student strikes, debates on women’s emancipation, revolt against the patriarchal family, and intellectual explorations of French and Chinese politics and thought.Making instructive use of literacy sources, archival materials, and the unpublished memoirs of her father, himself a participant in these events, Tai persuasively sets right the personalities and spirit of the Revolution—and the culture from which it emerged.
As Karl Marx the icon has fallen along with so many communist regimes, we are left with the mystery of Karl Marx the man, the complexities of a life that has profoundly affected millions. A Requiem for Karl Marx is Frank Manuel's searching meditation on that life, a learned and elegantly written engagement with the man and his work.Manuel gives us a psychological portrait rendered with sympathy and critical detachment, a probing look at the connections between the private drama of Marx's life and his revolutionary ideas. Manuel pursues these connections from Marx's adolescence and education in Trier through his university studies, marriage to a German baroness, and early affiliation with French and German radical groups. Here we see Marx in moments of youthful rapture, in periods of despair, in maneuvers of blatant hypocrisy, in outbursts of self-mockery. We follow his involuted response to his status as a converted Jew, observe the psychic toll of debilitating bouts of illness, and witness the shattering effects of his aggressive, often brutal conduct toward friend and foe alike. Manuel analyzes in intricate detail the central role of Marx's enduring relationship with Friedrich Engels, which appears to transcend the bounds of friendship, and his changing behavior toward his wife, Jenny, the neurotic and tragic figure who shared his dismal London exile.What becomes clear in this narrative is the link between Marx's personal life and his ideas about class struggle, revolutionary strategy, and utopia--as well as the impact of his personal vision and political tactics on the movements that followed him, down to our day.
Revolution on My Mind is a stunning revelation of the inner world of Stalin’s Russia. We see into the minds and hearts of Soviet citizens who recorded their lives during an extraordinary period of revolutionary fervor and state terror. Writing a diary, like other creative expression, seems nearly impossible amid the fear and distrust of totalitarian rule; but as Jochen Hellbeck shows, diary-keeping was widespread, as individuals struggled to adjust to Stalin’s regime.Rather than protect themselves against totalitarianism, many men and women bent their will to its demands, by striving to merge their individual identities with the collective and by battling vestiges of the old self within. We see how Stalin’s subjects, from artists to intellectuals and from students to housewives, absorbed directives while endeavoring to fulfill the mandate of the Soviet revolution—re-creation of the self as a builder of the socialist society. Thanks to a newly discovered trove of diaries, we are brought face to face with individual life stories—gripping and unforgettably poignant.The diarists’ efforts defy our liberal imaginations and our ideals of autonomy and private fulfillment. These Soviet citizens dreamed differently. They coveted a morally and aesthetically superior form of life, and were eager to inscribe themselves into the unfolding revolution. Revolution on My Mind is a brilliant exploration of the forging of the revolutionary self, a study without precedent that speaks to the evolution of the individual in mass movements of our own time.
Combining the intellectual history of the Enlightenment, Atlantic history, and the history of the French Revolution, Paul Cheney explores the political economy of globalization in eighteenth-century France.The discovery of the New World and the rise of Europe's Atlantic economy brought unprecedented wealth. It also reordered the political balance among European states and threatened age-old social hierarchies within them. In this charged context, the French developed a "science of commerce" that aimed to benefit from this new wealth while containing its revolutionary effects. Montesquieu became a towering authority among reformist economic and political thinkers by developing a politics of fusion intended to reconcile France's aristocratic society and monarchical state with the needs and risks of international commerce. The Seven Years' War proved the weakness of this model, and after this watershed reforms that could guarantee shared prosperity at home and in the colonies remained elusive. Once the Revolution broke out in 1789, the contradictions that attended the growth of France's Atlantic economy helped to bring down the constitutional monarchy.Drawing upon the writings of philosophes, diplomats, consuls of commerce, and merchants, Cheney rewrites the history of political economy in the Enlightenment era and provides a new interpretation of the relationship between capitalism and the French Revolution.
A robust defense of democratic populism by one of America’s most renowned and controversial constitutional scholars—the award-winning author of We the People.Populism is a threat to the democratic world, fuel for demagogues and reactionary crowds—or so its critics would have us believe. But in his award-winning trilogy We the People, Bruce Ackerman showed that Americans have repeatedly rejected this view. Now he draws on a quarter century of scholarship in this essential and surprising inquiry into the origins, successes, and threats to revolutionary constitutionalism around the world. He takes us to India, South Africa, Italy, France, Poland, Burma, Israel, and Iran and provides a blow-by-blow account of the tribulations that confronted popular movements in their insurgent campaigns for constitutional democracy. Despite their many differences, populist leaders such as Nehru, Mandela, and de Gaulle encountered similar dilemmas at critical turning points, and each managed something overlooked but essential. Rather than deploy their charismatic leadership to retain power, they instead used it to confer legitimacy to the citizens and institutions of constitutional democracy.Ackerman returns to the United States in his last chapter to provide new insights into the Founders’ acts of constitutional statesmanship as they met very similar challenges to those confronting populist leaders today. In the age of Trump, the democratic system of checks and balances will not survive unless ordinary citizens rally to its defense. Revolutionary Constitutions shows how activists can learn from their predecessors’ successes and profit from their mistakes, and sets up Ackerman’s next volume, which will address how elites and insiders co-opt and destroy the momentum of revolutionary movements.
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.
This short biography of Biko shows how fundamental he was to the reawakening and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century—and just how relevant he remains. Biko’s understanding of black consciousness as a weapon of change could not be more relevant today to “restore people to their full humanity.”
As an important historical study, this book’s main sources were unique interviews done in 1989—before the end of apartheid—by the author with Biko’s acquaintances, many of whom have since died.
Winner of the Louis Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century StudiesA Financial Times Best History Book of the YearA Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the YearRebecca L. Spang, who revolutionized our understanding of the restaurant, has written a new history of money. It uses one of the most infamous examples of monetary innovation, the assignats—a currency initially defined by French revolutionaries as “circulating land”—to demonstrate that money is as much a social and political mediator as it is an economic instrument. Following the assignats from creation to abandonment, Spang shows them to be subject to the same slippages between policies and practice, intentions and outcomes, as other human inventions.“This is a quite brilliant, assertive book.”—Patrice Higonnet, Times Literary Supplement“Brilliant…What [Spang] proposes is nothing less than a new conceptualization of the revolution…She has provided historians—and not just those of France or the French Revolution—with a new set of lenses with which to view the past.”—Arthur Goldhammer, Bookforum“[Spang] views the French Revolution from rewardingly new angles by analyzing the cultural significance of money in the turbulent years of European war, domestic terror and inflation.”—Tony Barber, Financial Times
The missing act in the late nineteenth-century Russian revolutionary drama is played in this pioneering book. Norman Naimark reinterprets the decade of the 1880s as one full of radical underground circles, grouping and regrouping in kaleidoscopic fashion. Along with later celebrated sects, they laid the foundation of Russian Marxism. Naimark is the first Western historian to research systematically the criminal records of the old Ministry of Justice in the Soviet Union. The political cases and trials of some 5,000 anti-czarists form the backbone of the study. The author patiently sorts out these defendants and relates their many histories, especially those of three groups. In broad outline, they were the narodovol’tsy, who believed in terrorism and state power to introduce socialism; the social democrats, who tried to prepare urban workers for a future role in parliamentary institutions; and the populists, who believed in raising people’s consciousness for change. It was the narodovol’tsy, however, who dominated all the revolutionary movements by hewing closest to the radical spirit of the age, that of realizing the “people’s will” by directly attacking to government.Naimark has written a master guidebook to hitherto uncharted revolutionary territory and a valuable corrective to earlier histories in several languages. In the tradition of high scholarship pioneered by Franco Venturi in his now classic work Roots of Revolution, which covered an earlier period, Terrorists and Social Democrats will lay claim to a place on the small shelf of books illuminating Russian revolutionary politics.
The largest rebellion in the history of Spain's American empire—a conflict greater in territory and costlier in lives than the contemporaneous American Revolution—began as a local revolt against colonial authorities in 1780. As an official collector of tribute for the imperial crown, José Gabriel Condorcanqui had seen firsthand what oppressive Spanish rule meant for Peru's Indian population. Adopting the Inca royal name Tupac Amaru, he set events in motion that would transform him into Latin America's most iconic revolutionary figure.Tupac Amaru's political aims were modest at first. He claimed to act on the Spanish king's behalf, expelling corrupt Spaniards and abolishing onerous taxes. But the rebellion became increasingly bloody as it spread throughout Peru and into parts of modern-day Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. By late 1780, Tupac Amaru, his wife Micaela Bastidas, and their followers had defeated the Spanish in numerous battles and gained control over a vast territory. As the rebellion swept through Indian villages to gain recruits and overthrow the Spanish corregidors, rumors spread that the Incas had returned to reclaim their kingdom.Charles Walker immerses readers in the rebellion's guerrilla campaigns, propaganda war, and brutal acts of retribution. He highlights the importance of Bastidas—the key strategist—and reassesses the role of the Catholic Church in the uprising's demise. The Tupac Amaru Rebellion examines why a revolt that began as a multiclass alliance against European-born usurpers degenerated into a vicious caste war—and left a legacy that continues to influence South American politics today.
The man who would become S. An-sky—ethnographer, war correspondent, author of the best-known Yiddish play, The Dybbuk—was born Shloyme-Zanvl Rapoport in 1863, in Russia’s Pale of Settlement. His journey from the streets of Vitebsk to the center of modern Yiddish and Hebrew theater, by way of St. Petersburg, Paris, and war-torn Austria-Hungry, was both extraordinary and in some ways typical: Marc Chagall, another child of Vitebsk, would make a similar transit a generation later. Like Chagall, An-sky was loyal to multiple, conflicting Jewish, Russian, and European identities. And like Chagall, An-sky made his physical and cultural transience manifest as he drew on Jewish folk culture to create art that defied nationality.Leaving Vitebsk at seventeen, An-sky forged a number of apparently contradictory paths. A witness to peasant poverty, pogroms, and war, he tried to rescue the vestiges of disappearing communities even while fighting for reform. A loner addicted to reinventing himself—at times a Russian laborer, a radical orator, a Jewish activist, an ethnographer of Hasidism, a wartime relief worker—An-sky saw himself as a savior of the people’s culture and its artifacts. What united the disparate strands of his life was his eagerness to speak to and for as many people as possible, regardless of their language or national origin.In this first full-length biography in English, Gabriella Safran, using Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and French sources, recreates this neglected protean figure who, with his passions, struggles, and art, anticipated the complicated identities of the European Jews who would follow him.
On a June night in 1791, King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette fled Paris in disguise, hoping to escape the mounting turmoil of the French Revolution. They were arrested by a small group of citizens a few miles from the Belgian border and forced to return to Paris. Two years later they would both die at the guillotine. It is this extraordinary story, and the events leading up to and away from it, that Tackett recounts in gripping novelistic style.The king's flight opens a window to the whole of French society during the Revolution. Each dramatic chapter spotlights a different segment of the population, from the king and queen as they plotted and executed their flight, to the people of Varennes who apprehended the royal family, to the radicals of Paris who urged an end to monarchy, to the leaders of the National Assembly struggling to control a spiraling crisis, to the ordinary citizens stunned by their king's desertion. Tackett shows how Louis's flight reshaped popular attitudes toward kingship, intensified fears of invasion and conspiracy, and helped pave the way for the Reign of Terror.Tackett brings to life an array of unique characters as they struggle to confront the monumental transformations set in motion in 1789. In so doing, he offers an important new interpretation of the Revolution. By emphasizing the unpredictable and contingent character of this story, he underscores the power of a single event to change irrevocably the course of the French Revolution, and consequently the history of the world.
“Important and lucidly written…The American Revolution involved not simply the wisdom of a few great men but the passions, fears, and religiosity of ordinary people.”—Gordon S. WoodIn this boldly innovative work, T. H. Breen spotlights a crucial missing piece in the stories we tell about the American Revolution. From New Hampshire to Georgia, it was ordinary people who became the face of resistance. Without them the Revolution would have failed. They sustained the commitment to independence when victory seemed in doubt and chose law over vengeance when their communities teetered on the brink of anarchy.The Will of the People offers a vivid account of how, across the thirteen colonies, men and women negotiated the revolutionary experience, accepting huge personal sacrifice, setting up daring experiments in self-government, and going to extraordinary lengths to preserve the rule of law. After the war they avoided the violence and extremism that have compromised so many other revolutions since. A masterful storyteller, Breen recovers the forgotten history of our nation’s true founders.“The American Revolution was made not just on the battlefields or in the minds of intellectuals, Breen argues in this elegant and persuasive work. Communities of ordinary men and women—farmers, workers, and artisans who kept the revolutionary faith until victory was achieved—were essential to the effort.”—Annette Gordon-Reed“Breen traces the many ways in which exercising authority made local committees pragmatic…acting as a brake on the kind of violent excess into which revolutions so easily devolve.”—Wall Street Journal
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