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Publisher's Summary

The Reign of Terror continues to fascinate scholars as one of the bloodiest periods in French history, when the Committee of Public Safety strove to defend the first Republic from its many enemies, creating a climate of fear and suspicion in revolutionary France. 

R. R. Palmer's fascinating narrative follows the Committee's deputies individually and collectively, recounting and assessing their tumultuous struggles in Paris and their repressive missions in the provinces. 

A foreword by Isser Woloch explains why this book remains an enduring classic in French revolutionary studies.

©1941 Princeton University Press; Foreword to the Princeton Classic Edition copyright 2005 by Princeton University Press (P)2020 Tantor

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Profile Image for Josh Rowe
  • Josh Rowe
  • 20-03-2021

A Warning

It's hard to offer new insight on a book written 80 years ago but I can at least offer some advice to the casual reader: this is not a crash course about the French Revolution or even a holistic book about France during that era. If you were like me and approaching this book years after it was covered in school, I would recommend familiarizing yourself with things like the timeline of the revolution, the beliefs of the Jacobins, Girondins, Sans-Culottes, etc and the political climate of Europe before the Revolution. Also, if you don't speak French, I recommend looking at some of the French names or places on paper because you may have a hard time remembering them otherwise. Personally, this book read as a never ending footnote but one that I learned a lot from nonetheless.

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  • Owain
  • 25-06-2020

Detail, Nuance & Depth

The best book on the Committee of Public Safety, incredible story with meaningful and considered Nuance on the most contested topics. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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