Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life

Robespierre A Revolutionary Life For some historians and biographers Maximilien Robespierre was a great revolutionary martyr who succeeded in leading the French Republic to safety in the face of overwhelming military odds Fo

  • Title: Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life
  • Author: Peter McPhee
  • ISBN: 9780300118117
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For some historians and biographers, Maximilien Robespierre 1758 94 was a great revolutionary martyr who succeeded in leading the French Republic to safety in the face of overwhelming military odds For many others, he was the first modern dictator, a fanatic who instigated the murderous Reign of Terror in 1793 94 This masterful biography combines new research into RobeFor some historians and biographers, Maximilien Robespierre 1758 94 was a great revolutionary martyr who succeeded in leading the French Republic to safety in the face of overwhelming military odds For many others, he was the first modern dictator, a fanatic who instigated the murderous Reign of Terror in 1793 94 This masterful biography combines new research into Robespierre s dramatic life with a deep understanding of society and the politics of the French Revolution to arrive at a fresh understanding of the man, his passions, and his tragic shortcomings.Peter McPhee gives special attention to Robespierre s formative years and the development of an iron will in a frail boy conceived outside wedlock and on the margins of polite provincial society Exploring how these experiences formed the young lawyer who arrived in Versailles in 1789, the author discovers not the cold, obsessive Robespierre of legend, but a man of passion with close but platonic friendships with women Soon immersed in revolutionary conflict, he suffered increasingly lengthy periods of nervous collapse correlating with moments of political crisis, yet Robespierre was tragically unable to step away from the crushing burdens of leadership Did his ruthless, uncompromising exercise of power reflect a descent into madness in his final year of life McPhee reevaluates the ideology and reality of the Terror, what Robespierre intended, and whether it represented an abandonment or a reversal of his early liberalism and sense of justice.

    One thought on “Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life”

    1. In Danton, the 1983 biopic based on the life the French revolutionary, the eponymous hero, standing on the threshold of execution, says that “Everything might go on fine if I could give my legs to that cripple Couthon and my balls to Robespierre.” George Couthon, a member of the Committee of Public Safety, the dictatorial body that presided over the Reign of Terror, was indeed a cripple. Maximilian Robespierre, likewise a member of the Committee of Public Safety and Danton’s nemesis, was t [...]

    2. ♥Kitabı,merkezinde Maximillien Robespierre'in olduğu iç içe geçmiş halkalardan oluşan bir bütün olarak düşünmek mümkün. Aile durumundan, doğumuna, eğitiminden kısa süren siyasi yaşamına kadar ön planda ne kadar kendisi olsa da -ki biyografisi olduğu üzere- aslında 18.yy Fransasını tanıyoruz bu eserle. ♦ Bu iç içe geçmiş halkaların her birinin temsil ettiği üzere, Fransayı arka planda toplumsal,siyasi,ekonomik ve çok az da olsa askeri açılardan anlatıyor [...]

    3. "Virtue, without which terror is fatal. Terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is nothing but prompt, severe, inflexible justice."Robespierre and I have a difficult relationship. Although I think he was a tortured and brilliant man who has been maligned by history, I can never forgive him for purging the Dantonists. I once had a minor panic attack over the death of Desmoulins and accidentally quoted "Prisoner of Azkaban" ('He was your friend!!! And you betrayed him. He was your friend! [...]

    4. Excellent! The most complete revision of the literature sorrounding the figure of Robespierre and a new analysis of Robespierre life as a young man and his passionate life for revolutionary change encompassing the struggle for liberty, equality and fraternal values, and his comitment for a free people of Europe from the chains of monarchical life and the privileged seigneurial landowners, nobles, clergy and aristocracy. Mcphee does justice to Robespierre and his aim for a French People's Republi [...]

    5. An excellent biography of a much maligned and fascinating subject. The author sets himself the task in the introduction of answering the question: "How it could be that someone who articulated the highest principles of 1789 could come to be seen as the personification of the 'Reign of Terror' in 1793–94?" I think he does an admirable job at doing so while placing Robespierre in his context. While certainly coming across as sympathetic to Robespierre, McPhee strikes a nice balance in presenting [...]

    6. McPhee does a largely admirable job of documenting Robespierre's life, but the book is often lacking in context, leading any reader not thoroughly acquainted with the history of the French Revolution confused at times.

    7. At last a book that gives a fair, and dare I say it, positive view of Robespierre. I have long been an admirer of The French Revolution and especially of Marat and the great Robespierre. Most books are sympathetic to the great orator Danton and to the poster boy of the revolution Camille Desmoulins. They all vilify Robespierre, eve the ones that pretend to give a fair assessment such as Ruth Scurr.This book, which is well researched and written, tells of the real Robespierre, a humane man who ca [...]

    8. Insanely thorough, unbiased, and informative, but sadly lacking much narrative panache. Also definitely hard to follow if you don't already have a grounding in the French Revolution; some biographies are better about hand-holding the historical background, but my basic understanding of the broad strokes of the French Revolution was not enough for me not to get mixed up hearing terms like Sans-culottes or Girodins.

    9. You wouldn't think the French Revolution and its most well-known mass murderer would be dull, but the author manages to make it so. My God, this thing is a plod.

    10. It's a running joke in my Revolutions class that I have a little history-crush on Peter McPhee - one that I do all I can to play up, in all honesty. Robespierre has not, however, been my particular revolutionary crush; that's Danton. After reading this biography, I'm half tempted to switch my allegiances but the larger than life Danton is still more alluring than the somewhat severe Robespierre.Anyway, this biography is exactly what I was hoping for. It's clearly written and easy to read; I don' [...]

    11. Maximilien Robespierre was one of the foremost figures of the French Revolution, a super-energetic and remarkable man who was an eloquent speaker, writer and leader. Unfortunately, he was also very polarizing: people either adored him or loathed him. For awhile he was on top of the deadly snake-pit of revolutionary politics, sending counter-revolutionaries to the guillotine by the score, but he scared too many people, and he ended up in the guillotine himself.The book covers his whole life, from [...]

    12. I had Peter McPhee as a lecturer for a French Revolution subject in my second year of university. Excellent lecturer, who is passionate about the subject and really, really knows his facts. We spent one lecture talking about Robespierre, and I was completely fascinated. It was funny to find that one of the best-rated biographies of ol' Maxime was written by my teacher. Go figure.This biography is very balanced, and gives a very fair view of Robespierre as a person and a historical figure. Refres [...]

    13. There's no doubt that Robespierre, especially in the last several months of his life, is a problematic figure, but I was pleased to find that McPhee treats him largely sympathetically. I'm always amazed at the great sympathy so many Americans evince for the victims of the French Revolution (and for those of the Russian, as well) including even the King and Queen, (and the Tsar and his family) while exhibiting so little for the hundreds of thousands (at least) of victims of the ancien regime. (An [...]

    14. "Terror without virtue is fatal; virtue without terror is impotent. The terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is thus an emanation of virtue."This famous quote of Robespierre from one of his speeches to the convention makes it easy to see an evil in him if we want to find one. I learned a lot from this book, but after finishing it I don't feel I was reading about evil nor do I feel I was reading about a saint. This is simply a great biography, very well balanced that does [...]

    15. ¿Es Robespierre la encarnación del terror de la Revolución Francesa? ¿En verdad fue un ente malévolo como lo retratan muchos libros y profesores de historia? "Robespierre: Una vida revolucionaria" es una biografía completa, detallada y objetiva que pretende mostrar a Robespierre desde un punto de vista humano. Quizá el objetivo de la obra no es contestar las preguntas anteriores, sino dar argumento al lector para entender la vida y obra de Robespierre.

    16. So far, so good. Am in the process of reading this. Seems balanced. Has more detail than necessarily interests me, but seems appropriate to the biographical genre of the story. (I wanted to know more about French history, and this one showed up on the local library's new books display.)Returned and abandoned this for now. Maybe again after reading Hilary Mantel's book on the French revolution.

    17. filosofer & negarawan maximilian robespierre adalah tokoh yang ikut andil dalam revolusi perancis untuk keruntuhan teori monarki absolut.dia adalah pencipta hukuman pancung dengan pisau guillotine,sudah tak terhitung banyaknya penguasa yang dieksekusi dengan benda mematikan inimun ironisnya fitnah yang ditujukan padanya membawa dirinya dieksekusi mati dengan alat yang diciptakannya ini:(

    18. This book gives a pretty good basic overview of Robespierre's life. It's very difficult to find exactly what you want in this book because, in my opinion, the index is not very well put together. The index made it hard for me to find the exact thing that I wanted.

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