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Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution par [Scurr, Ruth]
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Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution Format Kindle

3.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client

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Longueur : 400 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit

From Publishers Weekly

The short, violent life of Maximilien Robespierre was a mass of contradictions crowned with a supreme irony: this architect of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror would in July 1794 be executed by the same guillotine to which he had consigned so many others. Cambridge University historian Scurr says she has tried to write a biography that expresses "neither partisan adulation nor exaggerated animosity," but even she must conclude that with the Terror, he "kept moving through that gory river, because he believed it necessary for saving the Revolution. He can be accused of insanity and inhumanity but certainly not of insincerity." Robespierre can also be accused of being a revolutionary fanatic who hated atheists, and "became the living embodiment of the Revolution at its most feral"; a dedicated upholder of republican virtues whose hands were smothered in blood; a fierce opponent of the death penalty who helped send thousands to their deaths; and a democratic tribune of the people who wore a sky-blue coat and embroidered waistcoats so aristocratic they wouldn't have been out of place at the court of the Sun King. Scurr's first book scores highly in unraveling not only her subject's complexities but those of his era. 2 maps. (Apr. 29)
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Booklist

The name Maximilien Robespierre seems to embody the excesses that contributed to the deterioration of the French Revolution; his name is synonymous with the expression "Reign of Terror." Born in the provincial city of Arras, the lawyer Robespierre carved a significant place for himself in the destruction of the ancien regime, but in 1794 he fell under the machine of terror he had greatly contributed to creating and was himself guillotined. Scurr is to be applauded--and read, of course--for bringing the intricacies of the revolutionary philosophies and actions to a readily comprehensible level; as this author maintains, "To understand [Robespierre] is to begin to understand the French Revolution." Robespierre was a peculiar personality, distinctive in ways that were not all positive, and here he is as accurately assessed as hindsight permits. For the general reader, then, this is not simply a well-balanced, evenly shaded portrait of the man and his motivations, mistakes, and achievements but also a helpful explanation of an event that makes our American Revolution seem straightforward and of undeniable good sense. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2816 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 400 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital; Édition : New (31 mars 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007IV87K4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°185.977 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3.8 étoiles sur 5
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Par TannP TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 10 février 2009
Format: Broché
J'ai très apprécié ce livre qui est écrit dans un anglais remarquable. Il passe en revue toute la vie de Robespierre sans aucun jugement moral, comme tout historien digne de ce nom doit le faire. L'auteur met très bien en exergue la contradiction n°1 de l'Incorruptible : l'exigence de vertu qui conduit à une intransigeance criminelle. Le livre mérite tout à fait les commentaires élogieux des critiques.
Néanmoins, l'auteur aurait pu évoquer les ventes des biens de l'Eglise à partir de 1790 en mettant en lumière les combines de gens sans scrupules comme Cambon (futur grand adversaire de Robespierre) qui se sont copieusement servis. Quand on sait que, pour certains auteurs, le rôle de la propriété privée et la volonté de tous les acteurs de la Révolution de garder intactes toutes leurs richesses personnelles (plus ou moins bien acquises) sont des clés majeures dans la compréhension de la Révolution, cette absence est un peu regrettable.
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Interesting. This book finally made me understand the paradox of this man who was a strongly against death penalty yet sent thousands to the guillotine. The author unfortunately ended up being very partial to Robespierre, quick to defend him and very quickly going over the river of blood he was responsible for. Sadly, the only documents from Robespierre himself the book bases itself on are all the speeches Robespierre spent hours writing. I would have preferred over documents which could have given us more an idea about the true nature of this man.
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It was thanks to David Lawday's wonderful book on Talleyrand that I decided to read his DANTON (2009). This naturally led to Ruth Scurr's equally marvelous book on Robespierre, FATAL PURITY (2006). Robespierre was a pale Ichabod Crane with the asceticism of a monk; Danton, hideously ugly, had the animal needs of what Americans might call a red-blooded fullback. What strikes one is the total devotion of both men to republican ideals and their unswerving belief in the virtue of the people, upon whom all power should be conferred, sentiments which should normally have placed both men among the greatest humanists the world has known. Next I was struck by the hatred the Conventioneers had for the nobility and the clergy, one of whom quoted Diderot's words, ''The people will never be happy until the last monarch is strangled with the guts of the last priest.'' Striking too was the fact that the first constitution laid the foundation of a constitutional monarchy, giving Louis the right to veto any bill, and that this constitution was renewed even after the king had tried to flee from France. Only massacres perpetrated by the people led to Louis' eventual beheading, and even then he was condemned by a single vote, 361 out of 721. Marie Antoinette was separated from her son after being accused of incest, and on the day of her beheading the Commune offered the boy a toy guillotine. Due to the massacres perpetrated by mobs, Danton called for the Terror in hopes of restoring order by diverting the attention of the people, thereby assuaging their thirst for bloodbaths. He deeply regretted his decision when he found himself at the foot of the guillotine. Robespierre soon followed him, dying in such a manner that his death leaves one feeling sick, a tribute to Scurr's art.Lire la suite ›
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Pour une française qui a appris l'histoire de la Révolution à l'école, ce livre n'apporte pas grand chose. J'espérais une analyse vraiment psychologique de Robespierre : ce n'est pas le cas. Et traduites en anglais, certaines expressions manquent de panache. Par exemple :le Serment Jeu de Paume est traduit par Tennis Court Oath ...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5 43 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 France as it really was... 17 décembre 2016
Par eledavf Vivian - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
One cannot too highly praise this biography. It flows smoothly and interestingly. The style of writing is admirable.

In addition, the author is fair to Robespierre, a man so easy to condemn. He had not many virtues, but those few he had are carefully related in this biography, among them his affection for his sisters and for the family he lived with in Paris. Yet the author details Robespierre's cruelty in condemning to death even his one-time friends -- Danton and Desmoulins. They had been close to him, but he sent them to the scaffold apparently without a qualm.

Robespierre was a fanatic, a rigid man without a soul. Any national turmoil would have brought that out, anywhere, in any age, but this trait of cruelty and fanaticism would have been exercised in obscurity. The pity was that he was able to rise to the pinnacle of power in a country that had lost its sanity and its decency.

I doubt that you will find a better presentation of the horrifying last hours of Robespierre's life. The author is careful to state what is known and what is surmised.

Robespierre, it is assumed, tried to commit suicide but shot himself in the jaw. His face mangled and his pain unimaginable, he was taken finally to execution along with seventeen of his associates.

As the author states:
"Outside, the carts were already waiting for them, and the guillotine had been brought back into the city center and reassembled in the place de la Révolution especially for the occasion. By early evening, enormous crowds filled the streets and the banks of the Seine. Everyone wanted to see Robespierre go past."

The hatred of the Parisians was immense, but it was a little late.

Few biographies are as convincing or as enthralling as this one. It is to be recommended without reservation.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An astonishing drama 28 septembre 2014
Par exurbanite - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
As much as any other single political eruption, the French revolution dramatically altered the course of history, in France as well as all of Europe and elsewhere. Its legacy can be found today in the ancient divisions and entanglements which continue to roil French politics. I have heard much, but actually knew little, about the revolution’s intricacies and details, a shortcoming in which I expect I was not alone. Ruth Scurr’s book has done a great deal to alleviate the problem.

The revolution arose not from a single definable source or clique of individuals but from a vortex of economic anxieties, food shortages, social and cultural grievances, jealousies, disputes and resentments. All were further accentuated by generalized political unrest and ideological turmoil. It entailed a convergence of conditions not easily untangled, but Ms. Scurr has succeeded in sorting through and bringing order to the maze.

Her prose is precise, fluent, and readable, and only rarely does she seem to stray from the strand of her narrative. The method she employs is biographic. Her story is built around the life of Maximilien Robespierre, his talents, his ambition, his maneuvering, his shifting loyalties and evolving ideology. The technique provides continuity and works well in delineating the the convoluted manner in which the revolution unfolded over five stormy years. But it also has shortcomings, sometimes bypassing crucial events or minimizing the role of other crucial figures.

There is little question that Robespierre was a pivotal figure in the ongoing drama. An obscure provincial lawyer from the Northern city of Arras, he had been scarred in his youth by scandals involving his father which left him with an enduring set of ingrained grievances. But he was imbued with a high, if radical, set of ideals, which he continued to pursue, even as they eroded into savagery as the revolution progressed.

Having moved to Paris, his oratorical and political skills won him converts, and he maneuvered adeptly among the constantly reshaping set of revolutionary committees, communes, and commissions, many of which he came to dominate. But as his views turned more fanatical and his activities more manipulative and peremptory, he was involved in constant infighting. Always suspicious, he grew increasingly paranoid and distrusting. He turned against and betrayed former colleagues and associates whom he suspected of traitorous activity, effectively sending them to the guillotine. Jean Cocteau once suggested that "Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo". A similar thing could be said about Robespierre in the later stages of the revolution.

Ms. Scurr works hard at maintaining a balanced score card. She gives credit to Robespierre for his incorruptibility and is sympathetic to his sticking to what he saw as his ideals, twisted and reckless though they became. Overall, she seems more defensive of his personality and activities than appears justifiable considering where they finally led. Starting as a man of principle he descended step by step into a bloodthirsty tyranny that cost the lives of thousands, including many of his friends.

Ironically, he was finally brought down not by the political conservatives or moderates he had fought so zealously but by atheists and anti-clericals who despised a type of state religion he had invented and sought to impose. Fatal Purity ends with Robespierre’s death on the same guillotine where he had sent so many others. Although Ms. Scurr presented an account of his family history and early life she ends her work rather abruptly at this point.

But the revolutionary story was not yet over, so a reader curious about its demise and transition to the Directoire, and later to the Napoleon-dominated Consulat, must look elsewhere. In the meanwhile, I commend this book to anyone seeking a better understanding of one of history’s most astonishing dramas, as well as one of its most notorious fanatics.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliant! 9 décembre 2013
Par KO - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A brilliant biography of Robespierre and a reliable, illuminating history of revolutionary France. Scurr is at her best when she analyzes the political factions fighting for supremacy, and she brings all the key characters to life: Mirabeau, Danton, St. Just, Brissot, and many, many others. If you want to make up your own mind about Robespierre this book supplies all the evidence and nuance you need. Ultimately, Robespierre remains elusive and is, as Scurr's well chosen title suggests, the captive and victim of his own "fatal purity." You will keep this book on your shelf for years to come.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 studious and enjoyable, if a little lacking insight. 16 octobre 2015
Par Herve H. Blandin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Definitely enjoyable and going well thru the motions of the "Incorruptible"'s life, with copious excerpts of his writings, if a little short in insights.

Little is made, in depth, of the different relationships (human and political) that proved consequential (especially to them!) with Desmoulins, and Danton. As well as with Saint-Just. Also lacking is an analysis (or again, insight) into the thought processes that determined or changed R's political decisions between 1789 and the fateful day he was arrested. I found also that the author did not make exactly clear why Robespierre was arrested, a topic which other historians dwell more into. Was it because he threatened without naming? Because in some ways, something somehow had run its course, at the crosspoint where R's physical (and psychological?)exhaustion signaled a dead-end? Or others in the assembly were intent in changing the course of the revolution along the lines that would give primacy to the real new powers, bourgeois and nascent capitalists, away from the Commune and the Jacobin's most intransigeant "montagnards"? Well, maybe it is for the reader, not the author to propose responses. Actually, Robespierre did not say everything and was an intesely private man, and much can be left to the imagination, which this book does.

One example: away from the historical biography itself, reading this book, one often projects oneself in the future (our past), in times when totalitarian tyrants followed the blue-print of terror apparatus first laid by Robespierre , in even worse psychopathic fashion.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Inside a troubled period 12 octobre 2016
Par clovis6 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A well researched approach to the period through the lens of the main leader of the Jacobins and his entourage.Other important characters remain nearly in the background.A deeper analysis of their role in the plot unfolding would have given a better understanding of the Terror and the following years before Napoleon.
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