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Book Title: Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution|
ISBN 13: 9780701176006
The author of the book: Ruth Scurr
Edition: Chatto & Windus
Date of issue: May 4th 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 417 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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“Judicious, balanced, and admirably clear at every point. This is quite the calmest and least abusive history of the Revolution you will ever read.”
—Hilary Mantel, London Review of Books
Since his execution by guillotine in July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre has been contested terrain for historians. Was he a bloodthirsty charlatan or the only true defender of revolutionary ideals? The first modern dictator or the earliest democrat? Was his extreme moralism a heroic virtue or a ruinous flaw?
Against the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution, historian Ruth Scurr tracks Robespierre’s evolution from provincial lawyer to devastatingly efficient revolutionary leader, righteous and paranoid in equal measure. She explores his reformist zeal, his role in the fall of the monarchy, his passionate attempts to design a modern republic, even his extraordinary effort to found a perfect religion. And she follows him into the Terror, as the former death- penalty opponent makes summary execution the order of the day, himself falling victim to the violence at the age of thirty-six.
Written with epic sweep, full of nuance and insight, Fatal Purity is a fascinating portrait of a man who identified with the Revolution to the point of madness, and in so doing changed the course of history.
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Read information about the authorDr Ruth Scurr (born 1971, London) is a British writer, historian and literary critic. She is a Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. She was educated at St Bernard's Convent, Slough; Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. She won a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2000.
Her first book, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (Chatto & Windus, 2006; Metropolitan Books, 2006) won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize (2006), was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize (2006), long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize (2007) and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times in 2009. It has been translated into five languages.
Scurr began reviewing regularly for The Times and The Times Literary Supplement in 1997. Since then she has also written for The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, New Statesman, The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New York Observer, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal.
She was a judge on the Man Booker Prize panel in 2007, and the Samuel Johnson Prize panel in 2014. She is a member of the Folio Prize Academy.
Scurr is Director of Studies in Human, Social and Political Sciences for Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where she has been a Fellow since 2006. Her research interests include: 17th and 18th century history of ideas; biographical, autobiographical and life writing; the British and French Enlightenments; the French Revolution; Revolutionary Memoir; early Feminist Political Thought; and contemporary fiction in English.
She was married to the political theorist John Dunn between 1997 and 2013. She has two daughters and a stepson.
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