In Defence of the Terror by Slavoj Žižek
Liberty or Death in the French Revolution

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An introduction by Slavoj Žižek ill-serves this book. Gushingly and flamboyantly welcoming...he opens with Zhou Enlai's well-worn quip...
-Guardian

Synopsis

For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution is no longer judged in terms of historical necessity but rather by “timeless” standards of morality. In this succinct essay, Sophie Wahnich explains how, contrary to prevailing interpretations, the institution of Terror sought to put a brake on legitimate popular violence—in Danton’s words, to “be terrible so as to spare the people the need to be so”—and was subsequently subsumed in a logic of war. The Terror was “a process welded to a regime of popular sovereignty, the only alternatives being to defeat tyranny or die for liberty.”
 

About Slavoj Žižek

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Sophie Wahnich is a historian based at the Laboratoire d'anthropologie des institutions et des organisations sociales in Paris. Her previous publications include L'impossible citoyen. L'étranger dans le discours dela Révolution française and La Longue patience du peuple: 1792, naissancede la République. Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a Professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Verso. 145 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Ruth Scurr on Aug 17 2012

An introduction by Slavoj Žižek ill-serves this book. Gushingly and flamboyantly welcoming...he opens with Zhou Enlai's well-worn quip...

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