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Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition
Kieran Allen
Pluto Press, 2016
The Easter Rising of 1916, in which just over a thousand Irish rebels seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic before being brutally suppressed by the vastly larger and better-equipped British Army, is an event whose meaning remains contested to this day. For some it represents a blood sacrifice without the hope—or even the intention­—of success. For others, it was the first act in a tumultuous political drama played out in Dublin streets and London cabinet rooms that led to the eventual formation of an independent Irish state.
In 1916, Kieran Allen argues that this pivotal moment in Irish history has been obscured by those who see it only as a prelude for a war of independence. Emphasizing an often ignored social and political radicalism at the heart of the rebellion, he shows that it gave birth to a revolutionary tradition that continues to haunt the Irish elite. Socialist aspirations mixed, and sometimes clashed, with the republican current, but both were crushed in a counterrevolution that accompanied the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. The result today is a partitioned Ireland that acts as a neoliberal tax haven for multinational corporations—a state of affairs quite alien to both Connolly’s and Pearse’s vision.
Published to coincide with the Rising’s centennial, 1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition re-establishes the political role of socialist republican figures, offers a highly accessible history of the Easter Rising, and explores the militancy and radicalism that continues to haunt the Irish elite one hundred years later. 

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Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals
Krishan Kumar
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

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


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Alexander Hamilton
From Obscurity to Greatness
John P. Kaminski
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2016
Born in 1755 on a small Caribbean island to unmarried parents, Alexander Hamilton did not enjoy the privileges of wealth or heredity by which so many of his contemporaries advanced to the highest levels of power. Yet Hamilton's natural ability and ambition earned him prevailing influence in the American Revolution and the government created thereafter, eventually securing his place in the pantheon of America's founders.

Editor John P. Kaminski has gathered a remarkable collection of quotations by and about Alexander Hamilton that paint for us a nuanced portrait of a complex man. Through his own words and the words of his contemporaries -- including the man who killed him in a duel, Aaron Burr -- we can gain a better understanding of this fascinating man who rose from anonymity on a small Caribbean island to the corridors of power.

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An Anti-Bolshevik Alternative
The White Movement and the Civil War in the Russian North
Liudmila Novikova, Translated by Seth Bernstein
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
The traditional narrative of the Russian Civil War is one of revolution against counterrevolution, Bolshevik Reds against Tsarist Whites. Liudmila Novikova convincingly demonstrates, however, that the struggle was not between a Communist future and a Tsarist past; instead, it was a bloody fight among diverse factions of a modernizing postrevolutionary state. Focusing on the sparsely populated Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia, she shows that the anti-Bolshevik government there, which held out from 1918 to early 1920, was a revolutionary alternative bolstered by broad popular support.

Novikova draws on declassified archives and sources in both Russia and the West to reveal the White movement in the north as a complex social and political phenomenon with a distinct regional context. She documents the politics of the Northern Government and its relations with the British and American forces who had occupied the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk at the end of World War I. As the civil war continued, the increasing involvement of the local population transformed the conflict into a ferocious "people's war" until remaining White forces under General Yevgeny Miller evacuated the region in February 1920.

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Babies In Bottles
Susan Merrill Squier
Rutgers University Press, 1994
There is a forgotten history to our current debates over reproductive technology - one interweaving literature and science, profoundly gendered, filled with choices and struggles. We pay a price when we accept modern reproductive technology as a scientific breakthrough without a past. Babies in Bottles retrieves some of that history by analyzing the literary and popular science writings of Julian Huxley, J.B.S. Haldane, Charlotte Haldane, Aldous Huxley, and Naomi Mitchison - writings that include representations of reproductive technology from babies in bottles to surrogate mothers. It is to these images, fantasies, practices, and narratives of scientific intervention in reproduction that we must look if we want to understand what acts of ideological construction have been carried out, and are currently being performed, in the name of reproductive technology. Susan Merrill Squier shows how the imaginative construction of reproductive technology helps to shape our contemporary practices. Susan Merrill Squier is Julia Gregg Brill Professor in Women's Studies and English at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. She is the author of Virginia Woolf and London: The Sexual Politics of the City, editor of Women Writers and the City: Essays in Feminist Literary Criticism, and co-editor of Arms and the Woman: War, Gender, and Literary Representation.

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The Battle of Harlem Heights, 1776
David Price
Westholme Publishing, 2022
The Battle of Harlem Heights is an underappreciated milestone in American military history. The engagement on upper Manhattan Island on September 16, 1776, was the first successful battle for George Washington’s troops in the quest for independence from Great Britain and presaged the emergence of an effective fighting force among the citizen-soldiers who made up the Continental Army. The cooperative effort of regiments from New England, Maryland, and Virginia—whose men lacked any sense of national identity before the Revolution—indicated the potential for this fledgling army to cohere around a common national purpose and affiliation and become the primary instrument for securing America’s right to self-rule.
The action began when a contingent of rangers led by Col. Thomas Knowlton of Connecticut encountered British light infantry while conducting a reconnaissance mission on Washington’s orders. What began as a skirmish transformed into a full-fledged battle as both sides reinforced, and a heavy engagement continued for several hours until, with ammunition running low, the British withdrew. Washington decided not to pursue and risk confrontation with a larger force, thereby keeping his army intact. In The Battle of Harlem Heights, 1776, David Price conveys the significance of the Continental Army’s first victory and highlights the role of one of its key participants, the largely forgotten Knowlton—the “father of American military intelligence”—who gave his life during the action while urging his rangers forward. No matter how many times U.S. Army troops have recorded a battlefield success over the past two and a half centuries—whether on American soil, in a European wood, across a Middle Eastern desert, or on a Pacific island—one thing about that history remains indisputable. They did it first at Harlem Heights.

Small Battles: Military History as Local History
Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Series Editors
Small Battles offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts. It was the small battles, not the clash of major armies, that truly defined the fighting during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the hostilities on the frontiers. This is dramatic military history as seen through the prism of local history—history with a depth of detail, a feeling for place, people, and the impact of battle and its consequences that the story of major battles often cannot convey. The Small Battles series focuses on America’s military conflicts at their most intimate and revealing level.

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The Battle of Musgrove's Mill, 1780
John Buchanan
Westholme Publishing, 2022
On August 19, 1780, near a ford of the Enoree River in northwest South Carolina, a short and savage encounter occurred between Rebel militia and a combined force of Loyalist militia and Provincial regulars. Despite the Rebel’s being outnumbered more than two to one, it was an overwhelming victory for the American cause. The Rebels defended from the top of a ridge, inflicted heavy casualties on the Loyalist force as it advanced, then charged and drove the enemy from the field of battle. Just as Bunker Hill had done on a larger scale in Massachusetts, this clash of hundreds of soldiers in the Carolina backwoods invigorated the Rebel cause and led directly to the Battle of King's Mountain, the turning point of the war in the South. This battle is also remarkable because instead of one leader the Rebel force was directed by a joint command of three colonels.
The Battle of Musgrove’s Mill, 1780, by award-winning historian John Buchanan, begins by describing the situation in South Carolina following the British invasion of 1780 before introducing the three colonels: Isaac Shelby, James Williams, and Elijah Clarke. These men led Rebel militia from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in an effort to disrupt British operations and their Loyalist support. The colonels and other leaders led mounted Rebel militia in a sweeping and bloody guerilla war that played an essential role in opening a path to the eventual British surrender at Yorktown and Britain’s loss of America.

Small Battles: Military History as Local History
Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Series Editors
Small Battles offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts. It was the small battles, not the clash of major armies, that truly defined the fighting during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the hostilities on the frontiers. This is dramatic military history as seen through the prism of local history—history with a depth of detail, a feeling for place, people, and the impact of battle and its consequences that the story of major battles often cannot convey. The Small Battles series focuses on America’s military conflicts at their most intimate and revealing level.

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The Battle of Upper Sandusky, 1782
Eric Sterner
Westholme Publishing, 2023

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.


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Boston and the Dawn of American Independence
Brian Deming
Westholme Publishing, 2013
How a New England Port City Became the Site of the Revolution That Changed the History of the World
In 1760, no one could imagine the American colonies revolting against Great Britain. The colonists were not hungry peasants groaning under the whip of a brute. They lived well. Land was cheap, wages were good, opportunities abounded. While many colonists had been in the New World for generations, they identified with Britain, and England was still “home.” Yet in the space of just fifteen years these sturdy bonds snapped. Boston—a town of just 16,000—lit the fire for American Independence. Brian Deming explains how and why in his lucid, lively, and deeply researched Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.
To dodge British taxes, Boston merchants for as long as anyone could remember had routinely smuggled in molasses from French and Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. Boston distillers transformed this sweet cargo into rum, the liquid gold traded around the world. But British authorities cracked down on smuggling and imposed the Sugar Act to help pay for the debts incurred during their wars against France. Then came the hated Stamp Act, a tax on documents, newspapers, and printed materials of all kinds. In courtrooms, in the press, and in the streets, Bostonians rallied in protest against taxation without representation. As anger swept America, Boston was at the center of the storm, which burst forth with the infamous massacre and the Boston Tea Party. By 1775, open warfare erupted at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Boston and the Dawn of American Independence ties these scenes together with the people of the time, including John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere, as well as Thomas Hutchinson, the beleaguered Massachusetts royal governor, and James Otis, the bombastic, unstable early patriot. Readers hear their voices, but also those of many amazing, colorful, and memorable personalities— feisty mob leaders, defiant Tories, terrified townspeople. Deming illuminates this epic story with views of everyday life inside taverns, outside newspaper offices, and along the wharves, and the political dramas in London and Philadelphia that shaped the destiny of an empire and gave rise to the world’s first modern democracy.

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Children of the Revolution
The French, 1799-1914
Robert Gildea
Harvard University Press, 2008

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.


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China’s Republican Revolution
The Case of Kwangtung, 1895–1913
Edward Rhoads
Harvard University Press, 1975
Imperialism, pernicious as it was in most respects, served as the prime catalyst for social change in China throughout the turbulent period from 1895 to 1913. Starting with this premise, Edward Rhoads traces the social, political, and economic history of the republican revolution. In his view, after the Boxer uprising, the Manchu court, usually called supine and reactionary, instituted a program of reform that was a serious, comprehensive, and often successful attempt at radical social transformation. It failed, but it politicized the Chinese people to an unprecedented degree—and it marks the entrance of China into the modern era. The post-Boxer reforms attracted many revolutionaries and defused a serious revolutionary threat. Contrary to traditional accounts, Sun Yat-sen and his Revolutionary Alliance did not move easily from success to success. On the eve of the 1911 revolution, in fact, the movement was disorganized and demoralized. Its ultimate victory came less from its own efforts than from the failure of the incumbent rulers to win the support of the nonrevolutionary elite.

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Citizen Countess
Sofia Panina and the Fate of Revolutionary Russia
Adele Lindenmeyr
University of Wisconsin Press, 2019
Countess Sofia Panina lived a remarkable life. Born into an aristocratic family in imperial Russia, she found her true calling in improving the lives of urban workers. Her passion for social service and reputation as the "Red Countess" led her to political prominence after the fall of the Romanovs. She became the first woman to hold a cabinet position and the first political prisoner tried by the Bolsheviks. The upheavals of the 1917 Revolution forced her to flee her beloved country, but instead of living a quiet life in exile she devoted the rest of her long life to humanitarian efforts on behalf of fellow refugees.

Based on Adele Lindenmeyr's detailed research in dozens of archival collections, Citizen Countess establishes Sofia Panina as an astute eyewitness to and passionate participant in the historical events that shaped her life. Her experiences shed light on the evolution of the European nobility, women's emancipation and political influence of the time, and the fate of Russian liberalism.

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The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution
Timothy Tackett
Harvard University Press, 2015

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


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Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution
Mob Justice and Police in Petrograd
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa
Harvard University Press, 2017

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.


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A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
François Furet
Harvard University Press, 1989

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.


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The Cuban Revolution in the 21st Century
George Lambie
Pluto Press, 2010

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.


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Cuba’s Revolutionary World
Jonathan C. Brown
Harvard University Press, 2017

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.


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The Cultural Revolution at the Margins
Chinese Socialism in Crisis
Yiching Wu
Harvard University Press, 2014

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.


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Daytime Stars
Olga Berggolts, Translated by Lisa Kirschenbaum and Barbara Walker
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
For 872 days during World War II, the city of Leningrad endured a crushing blockade at the hands of German forces. Close to one million civilians died, most from starvation. Amid the devastation, Olga Berggolts broadcast her poems on the one remaining radio station, urging listeners not to lose hope. When the siege had begun, the country had already endured decades of revolution, civil war, economic collapse, and Stalin's purges. Berggolts herself survived the deaths of two husbands and both of her children, her own arrest, and a stillborn birth after being beaten under interrogation.

Berggolts wrote her memoir Daytime Stars in the spirit of the thaw after Stalin's death. In it, she celebrated the ideals of the revolution and the heroism of the Soviet people while also criticizing censorship of writers and recording her doubts and despair. This English translation by Lisa A. Kirschenbaum makes available a unique autobiographical work by an important author of the Soviet era. In her foreword, Katharine Hodgson comments on experiences of the Terror about which Berggolts was unable or unwilling to write.

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Echoes of the Marseillaise
Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution
Hobsbawm, Eric
Rutgers University Press, 2019
What was the French Revolution? Was it the triumph of Enlightenment humanist principles, or a violent reign of terror? Did it empower the common man, or just the bourgeoisie? And was it a turning point in world history, or a mere anomaly?
E.J. Hobsbawm’s classic historiographic study—written at the very moment when a new set of revolutions swept through the Eastern Bloc and brought down the Iron Curtain—explores how the French Revolution was perceived over the following two centuries. He traces how the French Revolution became integral to nineteenth-century political discourse, when everyone from bourgeois liberals to radical socialists cited these historical events, even as they disagreed on what their meaning. And he considers why references to the French Revolution continued to inflame passions into the twentieth century, as a rhetorical touchstone for communist revolutionaries and as a boogeyman for social conservatives.  
Echoes of the Marseillaise is a stimulating examination of how the same events have been reimagined by different generations and factions to serve various political agendas. It will give readers a new appreciation for how the French Revolution not only made history, but also shaped our fundamental notions about history itself.  

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Echoes of the Marseillaise
Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution
Hobsbawm, Eric
Rutgers University Press, 1990
"The French Revolution," writes Hobsbawm, "gave peoples the sense that history could be changed by their action ... [and] demonstrated the power of the common people in a manner which no subsequent government has ever allowed itself to forget."

We can learn a great deal from studying the French Revolution itself, but we can also learn from studying the ways in which scholars have interpreted the French Revolution, and from the ways their views have changed. For over a century following the Revolution, commentators and scholars spoke of it in glowing terms. But in the past three decades, revisionist historians have become skeptical. Eric Hobsbawm reiterates the centrality of the Revolution for history on a global basis. He argues that those who wrote about the Revolution in the nineteenth century were convinced it had changed their lives dramatically, improving the economy and the lot of peasants. They saw the Revolution as a prototype of of the bourgeois revolution, enabling the middle class to gain power from the ruling class of aristocrats. Many believed proletarian revolutions would inevitably follow. In the years between 1917 and the 1960s, Marxists continued to use the French Revolution as a point of reference, paying increasing attention to the social and economic factors in the Revolution, not only to the political factors. In the 1970s and 1980s, many historians began to argue that the Revolution achieved modest results at disproportionate costs. Hobsbawm argues that this massive historiographical reaction against the centrality of the Revolution reflects the personal politics of those contemporary historians for whom Marxism and communism are now out of favor. They are, he maintains, wrong. The Revolution transformed the world permanently and introduced forces that continue to transform it.

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Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India
Ranajit Guha
Duke University Press, 1999
Foreword by James Scott

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.


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The Fascist Revolution
Toward a General Theory of Fascism
George L. Mosse, with a critical introduction by Roger Griffin
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
The Fascist Revolution is the culmination of George L. Mosse's groundbreaking work on fascism. Originally published posthumously in 1999, the volume covers a broad spectrum of topics related to cultural interpretations of fascism from its origins through the twentieth century. In a series of magisterial turns, Mosse examines fascism's role in the French Revolution, its relationship with nationalism and racism, its use by intellectuals to foment insurrection, and more as a means to define and understand it as a popular phenomenon on its own terms. This new edition features a critical introduction by Roger Griffin, professor emeritus of modern history at Oxford Brookes University, contextualizing Mosse's research as fascism makes a global resurgence.

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Festivals and the French Revolution
Mona Ozouf
Harvard University Press, 1988

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.


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The First Professional Revolutionist
Filippo Michele Buonarroti, 1761–1837
Elizabeth L. Eisenstein
Harvard University Press

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.


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The Formation of the Soviet Union
Communism and Nationalism, 1917–1923, Revised Edition
Richard Pipes
Harvard University Press, 1997

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.


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From Quills to Tweets
How America Communicates about War and Revolution
Adrea J. Dew, Marc A. Genest, and S. C. M. Paine, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2020

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.


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From Revolutionaries to Citizens
Antimilitarism in France, 1870–1914
Paul B. Miller
Duke University Press, 2002
From Revolutionaries to Citizens is the first comprehensive account of the most important antiwar campaign prior to World War I: the antimilitarism of the French Left. Covering the views and actions of socialists, trade unionists, and anarchists from the time of France’s defeat by Prussia in 1870 to the outbreak of hostilities with Germany in 1914, Paul B. Miller tackles a fundamental question of prewar historiography: how did the most antimilitarist culture and society in Europe come to accept and even support war in 1914?

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.


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The Golden Horde
Revolutionary Italy, 1960–1977
Edited by Nanni Balestrini and Primo Moroni
Seagull Books, 2021
The Golden Horde is a definitive work on the Italian revolutionary movements of the 1960s and ’70s.

An anthology of texts and fragments woven together with an original commentary, The Golden Horde widens our understanding of the full complexity and richness of radical thought and practice in Italy during the 1960s and ’70s. The book covers the generational turbulence of Italy’s postwar period, the transformations of Italian capitalism, the new analyses by worker-focused intellectuals, the student movement of 1968, the Hot Autumn of 1969, the extra-parliamentary groups of the early 1970s, the Red Brigades, the formation of a radical women’s movement, the development of Autonomia, and the build-up to the watershed moment of the spontaneous political movement of 1977. Far from being merely a handbook of political history, The Golden Horde also sheds light on two decades of Italian culture, including the newspapers, songs, journals, festivals, comics, and philosophy that these movements produced. The book features writings by Sergio Bologna, Umberto Eco, Elvio Fachinelli, Lea Melandri, Danilo Montaldi, Toni Negri, Raniero Panzieri, Franco Piperno, Rossana Rossanda, Paolo Virno, and others, as well as an in-depth introduction by translator Richard Braude outlining the work’s composition and development.

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The Greek Revolution
A Critical Dictionary
Paschalis M. Kitromilides
Harvard University Press, 2021

Winner of the 2022 London Hellenic Prize

On 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.


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Haiti Fights Back
The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne Péralte
Yveline Alexis
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Winner of the 2021 Haitian Studies Association Book Prize​

Haiti Fights Back: The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne Péralte is the first US scholarly examination of the politician and caco leader (guerrilla fighter) who fought against the US military occupation of Haiti. The occupation lasted close to two decades, from 1915-1934. Alexis argues for the importance of documenting resistance while exploring the occupation’s mechanics and its imperialism. She takes us to Haiti, exploring the sites of what she labels as resistance zones, including Péralte’s hometown of Hinche and the nation’s large port areas--Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien. Alexis offers a new reading of U.S. military archival sources that record Haitian protests as banditry. Haiti Fights Back illuminates how Péralte launched a political movement, and meticulously captures how Haitian women and men resisted occupation through silence, military battles, and writings. She locates and assembles rare, multilingual primary sources from traditional repositories, living archives (oral stories), and artistic representations in Haiti and the United States. The interdisciplinary work draws on legislation, cacos’ letters, newspapers, and murals, offering a unique examination of Péralte’s life (1885-1919) and the significance of his legacy through the twenty-first century. Haiti Fights Back offers a new approach to the study of the U.S. invasion of the Americas by chronicling how Caribbean people fought back.

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A History of Utah Radicalism
Startling, Socialistic, and Decidedly Revolutionary
John S. McCormick and John R. Sillito
Utah State University Press, 2023

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.


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Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia
The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent
Dan Healey
University of Chicago Press, 2001
The first full-length study of same-sex love in any period of Russian or Soviet history, Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia investigates the private worlds of sexual dissidents during the pivotal decades before and after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Using records and archives available to researchers only since the fall of Communism, Dan Healey revisits the rich homosexual subcultures of St. Petersburg and Moscow, illustrating the ambiguous attitude of the late Tsarist regime and revolutionary rulers toward gay men and lesbians. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia reveals a world of ordinary Russians who lived extraordinary lives and records the voices of a long-silenced minority.

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Hong Kong in Revolt
Au Loong-Yu
Pluto Press, 2020
Hong Kong is in turmoil, with a new generation of young and politically active citizens shaking the regime. From the Umbrella Movement in 2014 to the defeat of the Extradition Bill and beyond, the protestors' demands have become more radical, and their actions more drastic. Their bravery emboldened the labor movement and launched the first successful political strike in half a century, followed by the broadening of the democratic movement as a whole. The book also sets the new protest movements within the context of the colonization, revolution and modernization of China. Au Loong-Yu explores Hong Kong's unique position in this history and the reaction the protests have generated on the Mainland. But the new generation's aspiration goes far beyond the political. It is a generation that strongly associates itself with a Hong Kong identity, with inclusivity and openness. Looking deeper into the roots and intricacies of the movement, the role of 'Western Values' vs 'Communism' and 'Hong Kongness' vs 'Chineseness', the cultural and political battles are understood through a broader geopolitical history. For good or for bad, Hong Kong has become one of the battle fields of the great historic contest between the US, the UK and China.

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The Idea of the Sciences in the French Enlightenment
A Reinterpretation
G. Matthew Adkins
University of Delaware Press, 2014
This book traces the development of the idea that the sciences were morally enlightening through an intellectual history of the secrétaires perpétuels of the French Royal Academy of Sciences and their associates from the mid-seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. Academy secretaries such as Fontenelle and Condorcet were critical to the emergence of a central feature of the narrative of Enlightenment in that they encouraged the notion that the “philosophical spirit” of the Scientific Revolution, already present among the educated classes, should guide the necessary reformation of society and government according to the ideals of scientific reasoning. The Idea of the Sciences also tells an intellectual history of political radicalization, explaining especially how the marquis de Condorcet came to believe that the sciences could play central a role in guiding the outcome of the Revolution of 1789.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

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Journal of the American Revolution 2023
Annual Volume
Don N. Hagist
Westholme Publishing, 2023

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



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Justice Interrupted
The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East
Elizabeth F. Thompson
Harvard University Press, 2013

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.


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Go–Daigo's Revolution
Andrew Edmund Goble
Harvard University Press, 1996
The short-lived Kenmu regime (1333–1336) of Japanese Emperor Go-Daigo is often seen as an inevitably doomed, revanchist attempt to shore up the old aristocratic order. But far from resisting change, Andrew Edmund Goble here forcefully argues, the flamboyant Go-Daigo and his iconoclastic associates were among the competitors seeking to overcome the old order and renegotiate its structure and ethos. Their ultimate defeat did not automatically spell failure; rather, the revolutionary nature of their enterprise decisively moved Japan into its medieval age.By birth, education, and circumstances, Go-Daigo should have been a weak, fatalistic bit player. Instead this student of Chinese political theory was a bold actor with an unprecedented knowledge of the various regions of Japan, who forced situations to his own benefit and led a rebellion that overthrew the Kamakura bakufu. Kenmu: Go-Daigo’s Revolution tells his extraordinary personal story vividly, reexamines original sources to discover the real nature of the Kenmu polity, and sets both within the broader backdrop of social, economic, and intellectual change at a dynamic moment in Japanese history.

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Literature and Revolution
British Responses to the Paris Commune of 1871
Owen Holland
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Between March and May 1871, the Parisian Communards fought for a revolutionary alternative to the status quo grounded in a vision of internationalism, radical democracy and economic justice for the working masses that cut across national borders. The eventual defeat and bloody suppression of the Commune resonated far beyond Paris. In Britain, the Commune provoked widespread and fierce condemnation, while its defenders constituted a small, but vocal, minority. The Commune evoked long-standing fears about the continental ‘spectre’ of revolution, not least because the Communards’ seizure of power represented an embryonic alternative to the bourgeois social order.

This book examines how a heterogeneous group of authors in Britain responded to the Commune. In doing so, it provides the first full-length critical study of the reception and representation of the Commune in Britain during the closing decades of the nineteenth century, showing how discussions of the Commune functioned as a screen to project hope and fear, serving as a warning for some and an example to others. Writers considered in the book include John Ruskin, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Eliza Lynn Linton, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Margaret Oliphant, George Gissing, Henry James, William Morris, Alfred Austin and H.G. Wells. As the book shows, many, but not all, of these writers responded to the Commune with literary strategies that sought to stabilize bourgeois subjectivity in the wake of the traumatic shock of a revolutionary event. The book extends critical understanding of the Commune’s cultural afterlives and explores the relationship between literature and revolution.

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Louis Sébastien Mercier
Revolution and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Michael J. Mulryan
Bucknell University Press, 2023
French playwright, novelist, activist, and journalist Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740–1814) passionately captured scenes of social injustice in pre-Revolutionary Paris in his prolific oeuvre but today remains an understudied writer. In this penetrating study—the first in English devoted to Mercier in decades—Michael Mulryan explores his unpublished writings and urban chronicles, Tableau de Paris (1781–88) and Le Nouveau Paris (1798), in which he identified the city as a microcosm of national societal problems, detailed the conditions of the laboring poor, encouraged educational reform, and confronted universal social ills. Mercier’s rich writings speak powerfully to the sociopolitical problems that continue to afflict us as political leaders manipulate public debate and encourage absolutist thinking, deepening social divides. An outcast for his polemical views during his lifetime, Mercier has been called the founder of modern urban discourse, and his work a precursor to investigative journalism. This sensitive study returns him to his rightful place among Enlightenment thinkers.

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Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman
A Biography
Candace Serena Falk
Rutgers University Press, 2019
“What this remarkable book does . . . is to remind us of that passion, that revolutionary fervor, that camaraderie, that persistence in the face of political defeat and personal despair so needed in our time as in theirs.” —Howard Zinn

“Fascinating …With marvelous clarity and depth, Candace Falk illuminates for us an Emma Goldman shaped by her time yet presaging in her life the situation and conflicts of women in our time.” —Tillie Olsen

One of the most famous political activists of all time, Emma Goldman was also infamous for her radical anarchist views and her “scandalous” personal life. In public, Goldman was a firebrand, confidently agitating for labor reform, anarchism, birth control, and women’s independence. But behind closed doors she was more vulnerable, especially when it came to the love of her life. 

Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman is an account of Goldman’s legendary career as a political activist. But it is more than that—it is a biography that offers an intimate look at how Goldman’s passion for social reform dovetailed with her passion for one man: Chicago activist, hobo king, and red-light district gynecologist Ben Reitman. Candace Falk takes us into the heart of their tumultuous love affair, finding that even as Goldman lectured on free love, she confronted her own intense jealousy. 
As director of the Emma Goldman papers, Falk had access to over 40,000 writings by Goldman—including her private letters and notes—and she draws upon these archives to give us a rare insight into this brilliant, complex woman’s thoughts. The result is both a riveting love story and a primer on an exciting, explosive era in American politics and intellectual life.  

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Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman
A Biography
Falk, Candace
Rutgers University Press, 1990
Candace Falk's biography captures Goldman's colorful life as a social and labor reformer, revolutionary, anarchist, feminist, agitator for free love and free speech, and advocate of birth control. And it gives the reader a rare glimpse into Goldman as a woman, alone, searching for the intimacy of a love relationship to match her radiant social vision. Falk explores the clash between Goldman's public vision and private life, focusing on her intimate relationship with Ben Reitman, Chicago's celebrated social reformer, hobo king, and red-light district gynecologist. During this passionate and stormy relationship, Goldman lectured in public about free love and women's independence, while in private she struggled with intense jealousy and longed for the comfort of a secure relationship. Falk's account draws upon a serendipitous discovery of a cache of intimate letters between Goldman and Reitman. Falk then goes beyond Goldman's ten-year relationship with Reitman, following Goldman's inner passions through her years of exile and later life. Written with a literary sensitivity, Falk tells a riveting story, consistently placing Goldman in the context of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century radicalism.

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Lu Xun's Revolution
Writing in a Time of Violence
Gloria Davies
Harvard University Press, 2013

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.


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Making New People
Politics, Cinema, and Liberation in Burkina Faso, 1983–1987
James Genova
Michigan State University Press
On August 4, 1983, Captain Thomas Sankara led a coalition of radical military officers, communist activists, labor leaders, and militant students to overtake the government of the Republic of Upper Volta. Almost immediately following the coup’s success, the small West African country—renamed Burkina Faso, or Land of the Dignified People—gained international attention as it charted a new path toward social, economic, cultural, and political development based on its people’s needs rather than external pressures and Cold War politics. James E. Genova’s Making New People: Politics, Cinema, and Liberation in Burkina Faso, 1983–1987 recounts in detail the revolutionary government’s rise and fall, demonstrating how it embodied the critical transition period in modern African history between the era of decolonization and the dawning of neoliberal capitalism. It also uncovers one of the revolution’s most enduring and significant aspects: its promotion of film as a vehicle for raising the people’s consciousness, inspiring their efforts at social transformation, and articulating a new self-generated image of Africa and Africans. Foregrounding film and drawing evocative connections between Sankara’s political philosophy and Frantz Fanon, Making New People provides a deeply nuanced explanation for the revolution’s lasting influence throughout Africa and the world.

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The Making of an Insurrection
Parisian Sections and the Gironde
Morris Slavin
Harvard University Press, 1986

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.


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Maria Romanov
Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918
Helen Azar
Westholme Publishing, 2019
The First English Translation of the Intimate Writings of a Member of the Last Russian Imperial Family
In the twilight of the nineteenth century, a third daughter was born to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna—known to her family and friends simply as “Mashka”—grew into an empathetic, down-to-earth girl, unaffected by her imperial status. Often overshadowed by her two older sisters, Olga and Tatiana, and later, her brother Alexei and younger sister Anastasia, Maria ultimately proved to have a uniquely strong and solid personality.
    In Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918, by translator and researcher Helen Azar with George Hawkins, Mashka’s voice is heard again through her intimate writings, presented for the first time in English. The Grand Duchess was much more than a pretty princess wearing white dresses in hundreds of faded sepia photographs; Maria’s surviving diaries and letters offer a fascinating insight into the private life of a loving family—from festivals and faith, to Rasputin and the coming Revolution; it is clear why this middle child ultimately became a pillar of strength and hope for them all. Maria’s gentle character belied her incredible courage, which emerged in the darkest hours of her brief life. “The incarnation of modesty elevated by suffering,” as Maria was described during the last weeks of her life, she was able to maintain her kindness and optimism, even in the midst of violence and degradation.
    On a stuffy summer night in 1918, only a few weeks after her nineteenth birthday, Maria was murdered along with the rest of her family in a cellar of a house chosen for this “special purpose.” Two sets of charred remains, confirmed to be Maria’s and her brother Alexei’s, were not discovered until almost ninety years later, separately from those of the other victims of the massacre. As the authors relate, it is still unknown if these remains will ever be allowed to be laid to rest.

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The Life and Afterlife of a Neapolitan Revolutionary
Silvana D'Alessio
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
This is a translation and new edition of Masaniello. La sua vita e il mito in Europa (Rome, 2007), the first historical biography of the leader of the revolt that broke out in Naples in 1647–48. Initially, its main objectives were the cancellation of the many taxes introduced in previous decades and a political reform that would allow the people to have their voice in the civic parliament. Thanks to Masaniello, the Neapolitans were able to compel the Spanish viceroy to sign new ‘capitoli’ (popular desiderata) but soon after, Masaniello was isolated by his main counselor, Giulio Genoino, and others, and ultimately abandoned to a tragic fate. From the moment of his death, a fascinating new life began in which Masaniello was exalted and condemned in many texts (historical volumes, plays, and even a dialogue with Wilhelm Tell) until, by the Risorgimento, he was remembered as an Italian hero.

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Mau Mau and Nationhood
Arms, Authority, and Narration
E. S. Atieno Odhiambo
Ohio University Press, 2003

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.”


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Michelangelo and the Viewer in His Time
Bernadine Barnes
Reaktion Books, 2017
Today most of us enjoy the work of famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo by perusing art books or strolling along the galleries of a museum—and the luckier of us have had a chance to see his extraordinary frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But as Bernadine Barnes shows in this book, even a visit to a well-preserved historical sight doesn’t quite afford the experience the artist intended us to have. Bringing together the latest historical research, she offers us an accurate account of how Michelangelo’s art would have been seen in its own time.
As Barnes shows, Michelangelo’s works were made to be viewed in churches, homes, and political settings, by people who brought their own specific needs and expectations to them. Rarely were his paintings and sculptures viewed in quiet isolation—as we might today in the stark halls of a museum. Instead, they were an integral part of ritual and ceremonies, and viewers would have experienced them under specific lighting conditions and from particular vantages; they would have moved through spaces in particular ways and been compelled to relate various works with others nearby. Reconstructing some of the settings in which Michelangelo’s works appeared, Barnes reassembles these experiences for the modern viewer. Moving throughout his career, she considers how his audience changed, and how this led him to produce works for different purposes, sometimes for conventional religious settings, but sometimes for more open-minded patrons. She also shows how the development of print and art criticism changed the nature of the viewing public, further altering the dynamics between artist and audience.
Historically attuned, this book encourages today’s viewers to take a fresh look at this iconic artist, seeing his work as they were truly meant to be seen.

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Midwives of the Revolution
Female Bolsheviks and Women Workers in 1917
Jane McDermid
Ohio University Press, 1999

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.


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Napoleon at Peace
How to End a Revolution
William Doyle
Reaktion Books, 2022
A cogent, comprehensive, and sweeping account of Napoleon’s dismantling of the French Revolution, giving new insight into this critical period of French history.
The French Revolution facilitated the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, but after gaining power he knew that his first task was to end it. In this book William Doyle describes how he did so, beginning with the three large issues that had destabilized revolutionary France: war, religion, and monarchy. Doyle shows how, as First Consul of the Republic, Napoleon resolved these issues: first by winning the war, then by forging peace with the Church, and finally by making himself a monarch. Napoleon at Peace ends by discussing Napoleon’s one great failure—his attempt to restore the colonial empire destroyed by war and slave rebellion. By the time this endeavor was abandoned, the fragile peace with Great Britain had broken down, and the Napoleonic wars had begun.

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Nationalism and Revolution in Europe, 1763-1848
Dean Kostantaras
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
This book addresses enduring historiographical problems concerning the appearance of the first national movements in Europe and their role in the crises associated with the Age of Revolution. Considerable detail is supplied to the picture of Enlightenment era intellectual and cultural pursuits in which the nation was featured as both an object of theoretical interest and site of practice. In doing so, the work provides a major corrective to depictions of the period characteristic of earlier ventures - including those by authors as notable as Hobsbawm, Gellner, and Anderson -- while offering an advance in narrative coherence by portraying how developments in the sphere of ideas influenced the terms of political debate in France and elsewhere in the years preceding the upheavals of 1789-1815. Subsequent chapters explore the composite nature of the revolutions which followed and the challenges of determining the relative capacity of the three chief sources of contemporary unrest -- constitutional, national, and social -- to inspire extra-legal challenges to the Restoration status quo.

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The Notables and the Nation
The Political Schooling of the French, 1787–1788
Vivian R. Gruder
Harvard University Press, 2008

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.


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Objects of Liberty
British Women Writers and Revolutionary Souvenirs
Pamela Buck
University of Delaware Press, 2024
Objects of Liberty explores the prevalence of souvenirs in British women’s writing during the French Revolution and Napoleonic era. It argues that women writers employed the material and memorial object of the souvenir to circulate revolutionary ideas and engage in the masculine realm of political debate. While souvenir collecting was a standard practice of privileged men on the eighteenth-century Grand Tour, women began to partake in this endeavor as political events in France heightened interest in travel to the Continent. Looking at travel accounts by Helen Maria Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine and Martha Wilmot, Charlotte Eaton, and Mary Shelley, this study reveals how they used souvenirs to affect political thought in Britain and contribute to conversations about individual and national identity. At a time when gendered beliefs precluded women from full citizenship, they used souvenirs to redefine themselves as legitimate political actors. Objects of Liberty is a story about the ways that women established political power and agency through material culture.


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The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volume II
Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon
Alexis de Tocqueville
University of Chicago Press, 2001
With his monumental work The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)-best known for his classic Democracy in America— envisioned a multivolume philosophic study of the origins of modern France that would examine the implications of French history on the nature and development of democratic society. Volume 1, which covered the eighteenth-century background to the Revolution, was published to great acclaim in 1856. On the continuation of this project, he wrote: "When this Revolution has finished its work, [this volume] will show what that work really was, and what the new society which has come from that violent labor is, what the Revolution has taken away and what it has preserved from that old regime against which it was directed."

Tocqueville died in the midst of this work. Here in volume 2—in clear, up-to-date English—is all that he had completed, including the chapters he started for a work on Napoleon, notes and analyses he made in the course of researching and writing the first volume, and his notes on his preparation for his continuation. Based on the new French edition of The Old Regime, most of the translated texts have never before appeared in English, and many of those that have appeared have been considerable altered. More than ever before, readers will be able to see how Tocqueville's account of the Revolution would have come out, had he lived to finish it. This handsomely produced volume completes the set and is essential reading for anyone interested in the French Revolution or in Tocqueville's thought.


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The Paris Commune
A Brief History
Carolyn J. Eichner
Rutgers University Press, 2022
At dawn on March 18, 1871, Parisian women stepped between cannons and French soldiers, using their bodies to block the army from taking the artillery from their working-class neighborhood. When ordered to fire, the troops refused and instead turned and arrested their leaders. Thus began the Paris Commune, France’s revolutionary civil war that rocked the nineteenth century and shaped the twentieth.  Considered a golden moment of hope and potential by the left, and a black hour of terrifying power inversions by the right, the Commune occupies a critical position in understanding modern history and politics. A 72-day conflict that ended with the ferocious slaughter of Parisians, the Commune represents for some the final insurgent burst of the French Revolution’s long wake, for others the first “successful” socialist uprising, and for yet others an archetype for egalitarian socio-economic, feminist, and political change. Militants have referenced and incorporated its ideas into insurrections across the globe, throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries, keeping alive the revolution’s now-iconic goals and images.  Innumerable scholars in countless languages have examined aspects of the 1871 uprising, taking perspectives ranging from glorifying to damning this world-shaking event.  The Commune stands as a critical and pivotal moment in nineteenth-century history, as the linchpin between revolutionary pasts and futures, and as the crucible allowing glimpses of alternate possibilities.  Upending hierarchies of class, religion, and gender, the Commune emerged as a touchstone for the subsequent century-and-a-half of revolutionary and radical social movements.

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The Parisian Order of Barristers and the French Revolution
Michael P. Fitzsimmons
Harvard University Press, 1987

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.


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Partisan Ruptures
Self-Management, Market Reform and the Spectre of Socialist Yugoslavia
Gal Kirn
Pluto Press, 2019
Yugoslavia's twentieth-century bore witness to civil war, sharp ideological struggles and a series of 'partisan ruptures'; revolutionary events that changed the face of Yugoslavian society, politics and culture, which were felt on a global level. This book is a comprehensive historical and political analysis of the three major ruptures; the People's Liberation Struggle during World War Two, the self-management model and the Non-Aligned Movement. In order to understand what provoked and what came out of these revolutionary ruptures, Gal Kirn examines the implications of communism and socialism's productive relationship, the Yugoslavian 'experiment' of market socialism that marked the political and economic shift towards 'post-socialism' already in the 1960s, which crystallised new class coalitions that will later on - together with austerity politics - lead the way towards des-integration of Yugoslavia. Filling a much-needed gap in English language literature, this book's interrogation of the Yugoslav socialist experiment offers insights for left projects and democratic socialist discussions today, as well as historians of Yugoslavia and revolutionary movements.

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Pathways to the Old Northwest
An Observance of the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance
Lloyd A. Hunter, et al
Indiana Historical Society Press, 1988
In 1987 Franklin College of Indiana hosted an observance of the bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance. Professional and amateur historians, folklorists, scholars in the arts, teachers, and students gathered to examine the provisions of that historic document and the governmental structure it created for the frontier lands north of the Ohio River. Pathways to the Old Northwest: An Observance of the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance presents six of the lectures delivered at the conference. These lectures represent current knowledge about the early history of the Ohio River-Great Lakes area, the circumstances surrounding passage of the Ordinance, the beginnings of government and society, and the ethnic diversity of the region's people.

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A People's History of Europe
From World War I to Today
Raquel Varela
Pluto Press, 2020
This concise people's history of Europe tells the story of the last hundred years of a very old continent and the ordinary people that shaped the events that defined it from World War I to today.

From the Russian Revolution, through May '68 and the Prague Spring, to the present day, we hear from feminists, trade unionists, conscientious objectors and activists and learn of immigration struggles, anti-colonial conflicts and labour movements. Cutting against the grain of mainstream histories, this is a history of Europe told from below.

Containing new and fascinating insights, Raquel Varela paints a different picture of the European story; one where ordinary Europeans are active agents of their own history.

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The Poetics and Politics of the Veil in Iran
An Archival and Photographic Adventure
Azadeh Fatehrad
Intellect Books, 2019
This volume explores the lives of women in Iran through the social, political, and aesthetic contexts of veiling, unveiling, and re-veiling. Through poetic writings and photographs, Azadeh Fatehrad responds to the legacy of the Iranian Revolution via the representation of women in photography, literature, and film. The images and texts are documentary, analytical, and personal.

The Poetics and Politics of the Veil in Iran features Fatehrad’s own photographs in addition to work by artists Hengameh Golestan, Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Adolf Loos, Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault, and Alison Watt. In exploring women’s lives in post-revolutionary Iran, Fatehrad considers the role of the found image and the relationship between the archive and the present, resulting in an illuminating history of feminism in Iran in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Politics and Literature in Mongolia (1921-1948)
Simon Wickhamsmith
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
This study investigates the relationship between literature and politics during Mongolia's early revolutionary period. Between the 1921 socialist revolution and the first Writers' Congress, held in April 1948, the literary community constituted a key resource in the formation and implementation of policy. At the same time, debates within the party, discontent among the population, and questions of religion and tradition led to personal and ideological conflict among the intelligentsia and, in many cases, to trials and executions. Using primary texts, many of them translated into English for the first time, Simon Wickhamsmith shows the role played by the literary arts - poetry, fiction and drama - in the complex development of the "new society," helping to bring Mongolia's nomadic herding population into the utopia of equality, industrial progress and social well-being promised by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.

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Popular Movements and State Formation in Revolutionary Mexico
The Agraristas and Cristeros of Michoacan
Jennie Purnell
Duke University Press, 1999
In Popular Movements and State Formation in Revolutionary Mexico Jennie Purnell reconsiders peasant partisanship in the cristiada of 1926–29, one episode in the broader Mexican Revolution and the last major popular rebellion in Mexican history. While some scholars have argued that the Mexican Revolution was a people’s rebellion that aimed to destroy the political and economic power of the elites to the benefit of the peasants, others claim that the Revolution was a struggle between elites that left little room for popular participation. Neither approach, however, explains why thousands of peasants sided with the Church against the state and its program of agrarian reform—reform that was presumably in the best interest of the peasants. Nor do they explain why so many peasants who considered themselves devout Catholics took up arms against the Church.
Rather than viewing the cristeros (supporters of the Church) as victims of false consciousness or as religious fanatics, as others have done, Purnell shows that their motivations—as well as the motivations of the agraristas (supporters of the revolutionary state)—stem from local political conflicts that began decades, and sometimes centuries, before the Revolution. Drawing on rich but underutilized correspondence between peasants and state officials written over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Purnell shows how these conflicts shaped the relationships between property rights, religious practice, and political authority in the center-west region of Mexico and provides a nuanced understanding of the stakes and interests involved in subsequent conflicts over Mexican anticlericalism and agrarian reform in the 1920s.

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Provincial Magistrates and Revolutionary Politics in France, 1789-1795
Philip Dawson
Harvard University Press, 1972

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."


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Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution
Hue-Tam Ho Tai
Harvard University Press, 1992

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.


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A Requiem for Karl Marx
Frank E. Manuel
Harvard University Press, 1995

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.


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Revolution and World Politics
The Rise and Fall of the Sixth Great Power
Fred Halliday
Duke University Press, 1999
Revolutions, as much as international war or nationalism, have shaped the development of world politics. In cause, ideology, and consequence they have merited description as a “sixth great power” alongside the dominant nations. In Revolution and World Politics Fred Halliday reassesses the role of revolution from the French Revolution to the Iranian Revolution and the collapse of communism.
Halliday begins by tracing the origins and evolution of the modern concept of “revolution” and placing it in historical context. Arguing that revolution is central to any understanding of international relations, he examines the internationalist ideology of revolutionaries who are committed to promoting change elsewhere by exposing revolution. In contrast with the claims of revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries alike, he sees revolutions both as part of an internationalist social conflict and as a challenge to the system of states. Chapters on the distinct foreign policies of revolutionary states are followed by discussions of war, counterrevolution, and postrevolutionary transformation. The study concludes with a reassessment of the place of revolution within international relations theory and in modern history, drawing out implications for their incidence and character in the twenty-first century.
Students and scholars of international relations, political science, sociology, and history will value this major contribution to understanding worldwide developments in government and society.

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Revolution Beyond the Event
The Afterlives of Radical Politics
Edited by Charlotte Al-Khalili, Narges Ansari, Myriam Lamrani, and Kaya Uzel
University College London, 2023
A critical perspective on the lived realities of revolutionary afterlives.

Revolution Beyond the Event brings together leading international anthropologists and emerging scholars to examine revolutionary legacies from the MENA region, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It explores the idea that revolutions have varied afterlives that complicate the assumptions about their duration, pace, and progression, and argues that a renewed focus on the temporality of radical politics is essential to our understanding of revolution. Through a careful selection of case studies, the book provides a critical perspective on the lived realities of revolutionary afterlives, challenging the liberal humanist assumptions implicit in the modern idea of revolution and reappraising the political agency of people caught up in revolutionary situations across a variety of ethnographic contexts.

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Revolution on My Mind
Writing a Diary under Stalin
Jochen Hellbeck
Harvard University Press, 2006

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.


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Revolutionary Blacks
Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence
Shirley L. Green
Westholme Publishing, 2023
William and Benjamin Frank joined the Second Rhode Island Regiment in the spring of 1777, following the tradition of military service established by their father, a veteran of the French and Indian War. The brothers became part of a cohort of free Black soldiers serving in an integrated Continental Army. The Second Rhode Island saw action along the Delaware River in the defense of Fort Mercer and the battle of Red Bank, before falling back with the rest of the army to Valley Forge. Following the brutal winter of 1777–1778 and the pivotal Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, in June 1778, veteran soldiers of color from the Second Rhode Island, including the Frank brothers, were transferred to the newly segregated First Rhode Island. This regiment was composed of Black and Native American soldiers, including enslaved men who were promised their freedom in exchange for service. Allowing formerly enslaved men to serve was reluctantly authorized by George Washington to address manpower shortages, but in exchange, he introduced segregation into the army. The “Black Regiment,” as it became known returned to its home state, where it fought with distinction at the Battle of Rhode Island in August. While encamped near Providence in February 1780, Ben Frank deserted and ended up in British service. His brother William remained with his unit and served during the American victory at Yorktown, Virginia, where the Black Regiment once again demonstrated its effectiveness. William was honorably discharged and returned to Rhode Island, while Ben eventually relocated to Nova Scotia with other loyalists.
    In Revolutionary Blacks: Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence historian Shirley L. Green takes the reader on a journey based on her family’s history, rooted in its oral tradition. Putting together the pieces of this puzzle through archival research, interviews, and DNA evidence, the author authenticates and expands the family’s oral history. In addition to providing context and substance to the Black experience during the war years, the author underscores the significant distinction between free Blacks in military service and those who had been enslaved, and how they responded in different ways to the harsh realities of racism. An original and important contribution to American history, Revolutionary Blacks presents a complex account of Black life during the Revolutionary Era and demonstrates that free men of color shared with white soldiers the desire to improve their condition in life and to maintain their families safely in postcolonial North America.

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Revolutionary Commerce
Globalization and the French Monarchy
Paul Cheney
Harvard University Press, 2010

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.


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Revolutionary Constitutions
Charismatic Leadership and the Rule of Law
Bruce Ackerman
Harvard University Press, 2019

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.


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Roger Lamb's American Revolution
A British Soldier's Story
Don N. Hagist
Westholme Publishing, 2022
Of all the British soldiers who served in North America during the American Revolution, none wrote more about his experiences than Roger Lamb. He certainly had a lot to say: his service in two of the most important campaigns—the 1777 Saratoga campaign and the 1781 campaign through the Carolinas to Virginia—put him in the thick of some of the war’s most famous battles. Moreover, he was twice captured and twice escaped, making his way through hostile territory to rejoin the British army. Later in his life he wrote two books chronicling these experiences in great detail. Hundreds of British soldiers went through similar ordeals, sharing in the campaigns, the battles, the captivities, the escapes, but none recounted any aspect of these activities in the level of detail that Lamb did.
The first edition of this book, published in 2004, combined all of Roger Lamb’s first-hand recollections from his two books, An Original and Authentic Journal of Occurrences during the late American War, from its Commencement to the Year 1783 (Dublin, 1809) and Memoir of his Own Life (Dublin, 1811). Since that publication, two more important documents written by Lamb have come to light—an intelligence report written in 1782 recounting details of one of his escapes, and a “commonplace book” kept later in his life to record a vast range of memories, thoughts, and observations. Roger Lamb’s American Revolution: A British Soldier’s Story combines all of the material from these four sources pertaining to Lamb’s career as a soldier, from the time he joined the army to his departure from it, plus his recollections of childhood and post-military life. The result is the most comprehensive first-hand account by a British soldier in the American Revolution, an essential record for understanding the war in its totality.

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A Socialist History of the French Revolution
Jean Jaurés
Pluto Press, 2021
One of the most influential accounts of the French Revolution ever published, now available for the first time in paperback.

Jean Jaurès was the celebrated French Socialist Party leader, assassinated in 1914 for trying to use diplomacy and industrial action to prevent the outbreak of war. Published just a few years before his death, his magisterial A Socialist History of the French Revolution has endured for over a century.

Written in the midst of his activities as leader of the Socialist Party and editor of its newspaper, L'Humanite, Jaurès intended the book to serve as both a guide and an inspiration to political activity; even now it can serve to do just that.

Jaurès's verve, originality, and willingness to criticize all players in this epic drama make this a truly moving addition to the shelf of great books on the French Revolution. Mitchell Abidor's abridged translation of Jaurès's original six volumes makes this exceptional work truly accessible to an Anglophone audience.

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South Carolina Provincials
Loyalists in British Service During the American Revolution
Jim Piecuch
Westholme Publishing, 2023
The Loyalists who supported the British during the American Revolution have frequently been neglected in accounts of that conflict. Nevertheless, Loyalists made significant efforts to assist British forces in restoring royal control of the thirteen colonies. This was especially true in South Carolina, where backcountry Loyalists under almost-forgotten leaders such as Joseph Robinson and Euan McLaurin challenged the Revolutionary movement in 1775. Although their initial efforts were unsuccessful, Robinson, McLaurin, and hundreds of their followers eventually made their way to British East Florida, where they organized into a provincial regiment called the South Carolina Royalists. Operating in concert with British efforts, the Royalists were part of many notable actions from 1778 to 1781, including the defenses of East Florida and Savannah, Georgia, and the battles of Briar Creek, Stono Ferry, Musgrove’s Mill, and Hobkirk’s Hill. A second provincial regiment created in 1780, Major John Harrison’s South Carolina Rangers, saw considerably action in operations against partisans under Francis Marion. When the British were forced to evacuate their backcountry posts in 1781, the Royalists, Rangers, and three troops of Provincial Light Dragoons raised earlier in the year withdrew first to Charleston and then East Florida. From there, many went to Canada at the war’s end, with others dispersing to different British colonies to begin new lives after their strenuous but unsuccessful effort on behalf of king and country.
            In South Carolina Provincials: Loyalists in British Service During the American Revolution, historian Jim Piecuch provide the first comprehensive history of those South Carolinians who took up arms to assist the British during their attempt to quell the rebellion in the South. Based on primary source research including records rarely consulted, the result provides a much clearer picture of the American Revolution at the local level in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.

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Mandela and the Revolutionaries
Paul S. Landau
Ohio University Press, 2022
A revelatory and definitive account of how Nelson Mandela and his peers led South Africa to the brink of revolution against the postwar twentieth century’s most infamously racist regime. Spear: Mandela and the Revolutionaries brings to life the brief revolutionary period in which Nelson Mandela and his comrades fought apartheid not just with words but also with violence. After the 1960 Sharpeville police shootings of civilian protesters, Mandela and his comrades in the mass-resistance order of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Communist Party pioneered the use of force and formed Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or Spear of the Nation. A civilian-based militia, MK stockpiled weapons and waged a war of sabotage against the state with pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and dynamite. In response, the state passed draconian laws, militarized its police, and imprisoned its enemies without trial. Drawing from several hundred first-person accounts, most of which are unpublished, Paul Landau traces Mandela’s allies—and opponents—in communist, pan-Africanist, liberal, and other groups involved in escalating resistance alongside the ANC. After Mandela’s capture, the Pan Africanist Congress planned to initiate street violence, and MK organized Operation Mayibuye, an uprising to be led by trained commandos. The state short-circuited those plans and subsequently jailed, exiled, tortured, and murdered revolutionaries. The era of high apartheid then began. Spear reshapes our understanding of Mandela by focusing on this intense but relatively neglected period of escalation in the movement against apartheid. Landau’s book is not a biography, nor is it a history of a militia or an army; rather, it is a riveting story about ordinary civilians debating and acting together in extremis. Contextualizing Mandela and MK’s activities amid anticolonial change and Black Marxism in the early 1960s, Spear also speaks to today’s transnational antiracism protests and worldwide struggles against oppression.

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Steve Biko
Lindy Wilson
Ohio University Press, 2011

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.


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Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution
Rebecca L. Spang
Harvard University Press, 2014

Winner of the Louis Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
A Financial Times Best History Book of the Year
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

Rebecca 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


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Terrorists and Social Democrats
The Russian Revolutionary Movement Under Alexander III
Norman M. Naimark
Harvard University Press, 1983

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.


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The Tupac Amaru Rebellion
Charles F. Walker
Harvard University Press, 2014

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.


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The Ukraine, 1917–1921
A Study in Revolution
Taras Hunczak
Harvard University Press, 1977
The Ukraine, which had for centuries been ruled by other nations, finally gained its independence for a brief period after the First World War. During this revolutionary era, a series of Ukrainian governments were established whose political spectrum ranged from anarchism to monarchical rule. This comprehensive volume edited by Taras Hunczak includes fourteen articles by leading specialists, and is the first scholarly treatment of the problem to appear in twenty-five years.

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Understanding and Teaching the Age of Revolutions
Edited by Ben Marsh and Mike Rapport
University of Wisconsin Press, 2017
To learn about the "Age of Revolutions" in Europe and the Americas is to engage with the emergence of the modern world. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, nations were founded, old empires collapsed, and new ones arose. Struggles for emancipation—whether from royal authority, colonial rule, slavery, or patriarchy—inspired both hopes and fears. This book, designed for university and secondary school teachers, provides up-to-date content and perspectives, classroom-tested techniques, innovative ideas, and an exciting variety of pathways to introduce students to this complex era of history.

The volume includes chapters on sources and methods for stimulating student debate and learning, including Tom Paine's Common Sense, the Haitian Declaration of Independence, and other key documents; role-playing games; visual arts and culture; and music, including opera and popular songs. Other chapters delve into specific themes, including revolution and riot, revolutionary terror, enlightenment, gender, slavery, nationalism, environment and climate, and the roles of politically excluded groups. Collectively, the contributions ensure a broad Atlantic scope, discussing the revolutions in Britain's North American colonies, Haiti, and Latin America, and European revolutions including France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

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United for Independence
The American Revolution in the Middle Colonies, 1775–1776
Michael Cecere
Westholme Publishing, 2023
In the aftermath of the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775 and the start of the Revolutionary War, it was not clear whether the colonies outside of New England would participate militarily in the conflict. Troops from the four New England colonies surrounded Boston immediately after the fighting at Lexington and Concord, and two months into the standoff the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, assumed authority over the New England army, but the middle and southern colonies had yet to see armed conflict or bloodshed with British forces.
    In United for Independence: The American Revolution in the Middle Colonies, 1775–1776, historian Michael Cecere examines how the inhabitants of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland reacted to the outbreak of war in Massachusetts. Leaders in these middle colonies, influenced by strong Loyalist sentiment within their borders and, in some cases, among themselves, fiercely debated whether to support the war in New England. Congress’s decision in the summer to establish the Continental Army, and its authorization for an invasion of Canada, both of which involved troops from the middle colonies, set the stage for their full-scale involvement in the Revolutionary War.
   Using primary source extracts and proceeding chronologically from the spring of 1775 to the fall of 1776, the author presents the key events in each of these colonies, from the political struggles between Whigs and Tories, through the failed Canadian expedition, to the loss of Long Island and New York City. Designed for readers to understand the sequence of events that transformed a resistance movement into a war for independence, United for Independence provides an important overview of events in the middle colonies at the start of the Revolutionary War that complements other works that focus on specific military clashes and campaigns. 

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The Urban Crucible
The Northern Seaports and the Origins of the American Revolution, Abridged Edition
Gary B. Nash
Harvard University Press, 1986
The Urban Crucible boldly reinterprets colonial life and the origins of the American Revolution. Through a century-long history of three seaport towns—Boston, New York, and Philadelphia—Gary Nash discovers subtle changes in social and political awareness and describes the coming of the revolution through popular collective action and challenges to rule by custom, law and divine will. A reordering of political power required a new consciousness to challenge the model of social relations inherited from the past and defended by higher classes. While retaining all the main points of analysis and interpretation, the author has reduced the full complement of statistics, sources, and technical data contained in the original edition to serve the needs of general readers and undergraduates.

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The Vanishing Children of Paris
Rumor and Politics before the French Revolution
Arlette Farge and Jacques Revel
Harvard University Press, 1991
In the spring of 1750 a two-day series of riots erupted in Paris when the populace discovered that police were sweeping children off the streets in an overzealous attempt to control vagrancy. Arlette Farge and Jacques Revel use this bizarre incident and its colorful cast of actors to view broader issues such as the power of rumor, mob psychology, the exercise of authority, and the maintenance of peace in Paris under the ancien régime.

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Wandering Soul
The Dybbuk’s Creator, S. An-sky
Gabriella Safran
Harvard University Press, 2010

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.


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When the King Took Flight
Timothy Tackett
Harvard University Press, 2003

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.


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The Will of the People
The Revolutionary Birth of America
T. H. Breen
Harvard University Press, 2019

“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. Wood

In 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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Written in Blood
Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861–1881
Lynn Ellen Patyk
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
Written in Blood offers a fundamentally new interpretation of the emergence of modern terrorism, arguing that it formed in the Russian literary imagination well before any shot was fired or bomb exploded. Lynn Ellen Patyk contends that the prototype for the terrorist was the Russian writer, whose seditious word was interpreted as an audacious deed—and a violent assault on autocratic authority. Deftly combining riveting historical narrative with penetrating literary analysis of major and minor works, Patyk’s groundbreaking book reveals the power of the word to spawn deeds and the power of literature to usher new realities into the world.

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Written in Blood
Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861–1881
Lynn Ellen Patyk
University of Wisconsin Press, 2017
Written in Blood offers a fundamentally new interpretation of the emergence of modern terrorism, arguing that it formed in the Russian literary imagination well before any shot was fired or bomb exploded. In March 1881, Russia stunned the world when a small band of revolutionaries calling themselves "terrorists" assassinated the Tsar-Liberator, Alexander II. Horrified Russians blamed the influence of European political and social ideas, while shocked Europeans perceived something new and distinctly Russian in a strategy of political violence that became known the world over as "terrorism" or "the Russian method."

Lynn Ellen Patyk contends that the prototype for the terrorist was the Russian writer, whose seditious word was interpreted as an audacious deed—and a violent assault on autocratic authority. The interplay and interchangeability of word and deed, Patyk argues, laid the semiotic groundwork for the symbolic act of violence at the center of revolutionary terrorism. While demonstrating how literary culture fostered the ethos, pathos, and image of the revolutionary terrorist and terrorism, she spotlights Fyodor Dostoevsky and his "terrorism trilogy"—Crime and Punishment (1866), Demons (1870–73), and The Brothers Karamazov (1878–80)—as novels that uniquely illuminate terrorism's methods and trajectory. Deftly combining riveting historical narrative with penetrating literary analysis of major and minor works, Patyk's groundbreaking book reveals the power of the word to spawn deeds and the power of literature to usher new realities into the world.

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