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Fatal Purity

Author: Ruth Scurr
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
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A riveting biography of the French Revolution's most enigmatic figure that restores him to his pivotal historic place Since his execution by guillotine in July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre has been contested terrain for historians, at once the most notorious leader of the French Revolution and the least comprehensible. Was he a bloodthirsty charlatan or the only true defender of revolutionary ideals? Was his extreme moralism—he was known as "The Incorruptible"—a heroic virtue or a ruinous flaw? Was he the first modern dictator or the earliest democrat? Against the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution, historian Ruth Scurr follows the trajectory of Robespierre's paradoxical life, from his unprepossessing beginnings as a provincial lawyer opposed to repressive authority and the death penalty, to his meteoric rise in Paris politics as a devastatingly efficient revolutionary leader, righteous and paranoid in equal measure. She explores his reformist zeal, his role in the trial of the king and the fall of the monarchy, his passionate attempt to design a modern republic, even his extraordinary effort to found a perfect religion. And she follows him into the depths of the Terror, as he 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.


Leaders

Author: Stanley McChrystal
Publisher: Penguin UK
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The bestselling author of Team of Teams dismantles the Great Man theory of leadership, by profiling leaders whose real stories defy their legends. In Leaders, retired four-star general Stan McChrystal explores what leadership really means, debunking the many myths that have surrounded the concept. He focuses on thirteen great leaders, showing that the lessons we commonly draw from their lives are seldom the correct ones. Leaders featured in the book include: Founders: Walt Disney and Coco Chanel Zealots: Maximilien Robespierre and Abu Musab Zarkawi Powerbrokers: Margaret Thatcher and Boss Tweed And other leaders profiled include geniuses Albert Einstein and Leonard Bernstein, reformers Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr., and heroes Harriet Tubman and Zheng He. Ultimately, McChrystal posits that different environments will require different leaders, and that followers will choose the leader they need. Aspiring leaders will be best served not by cultivating a standard set of textbook leadership qualities, but by learning to discern what is required in each situation. 'Leaders rexamines old notions of leadership - especially the outdated view that history is shaped by great men going it alone' - SHERYL SANDBERG, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org 'Leaders takes us deeper than most other leadership books into the true and often messy mechanics of leadership. Anyone who considers themselves a student of leadership must read this book' - SIMON SINEK, optimist and author of Start With Why and Leader Eat Last


A New Dictionary of the French Revolution

Author: Richard Ballard
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
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The French Revolution was a huge, brutal yet inspiring phenomenon that changed global political thinking and action, and its echoes resound even in the twenty-first century. It was an intensely complex mix of events, concepts and individuals and A New Dictionary is an invaluable aid to unravelling its complications, and an essential companion for students and general readers alike. There are some 400 entries covering the main events, personalities, parties, ideologies, political ideas, philosophers, writers, artists, rebellions and wars, as well as touching on colonial and international developments, the interaction of church and state, science, law reform, events in the provinces and overseas territories and the reverberations in other European states. The Dictionary provides a full and vibrant history from the outbreak of revolution in 1789 to the Terror, the Revolutionary state, its wars and the rise of Napoleon. Entries contain much more than just bare factual information: they provide a detailed commentary and include suggestions for further reading - both in print and online - which refer to the extensive literature of over 200 years of scholarship and recent historiography. Cross-referencing is extensive and the index points to information about minor but important subjects which do no receive entries of their own.


Eric Voegelin Today

Author: Scott Robinson
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
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The authors in this volume demonstrate that Voegelin’s erudition on topics such as revolutionary change, ideological fervor, industrialization, globalism, and the place for reason and how it may be cultivated in complex time's remains as meaningful today as it was in the 1950s.


The French Revolution

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Publisher: Routledge
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The French Revolution was one of the greatest events in world history, filled with remarkable characters and dramatic events. From its beginning in 1789 to the Reign of Terror in 1793–94, and through the ups and downs of the Directory era that followed, the Revolution showed humanity at its optimistic best and its violent worst; it transformed the lives of all who experienced it. The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics offers a fresh treatment of this perennially popular and hugely significant topic, introducing a bold interpretation of the Revolution that highlights the key role that religion and sexuality played in determining the shape of the Revolution. These were issues that occupied the minds and helped shape the actions of women and men; from the pornographic pamphlets about queen Marie-Antoinette to the puritanical morality of revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, from the revolutionary catechisms that children learned and to the anathemas hurled on the Revolution from clandestine priests in the countryside. The people who lived through the French Revolution were surrounded by messages about gender, sex, religion and faith, concerns which did not exist outside of the events of the Revolution. This book is an essential resource for students of the French Revolution, History of Catholicism and Women and Gender.


The Invention of News

Author: Andrew Pettegree
Publisher: Yale University Press
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“A fascinating account of the gathering and dissemination of news from the end of the Middle Ages to the French Revolution” and the rise of the newspaper (Glenn Altschuler, The Huffington Post). Long before the invention of printing, let alone the daily newspaper, people wanted to stay informed. In the pre-industrial era, news was mostly shared through gossip, sermons, and proclamations. The age of print brought pamphlets, ballads, and the first news-sheets. In this groundbreaking history, renowned historian Andrew Pettegree tracks the evolution of news in ten countries over the course of four centuries, examining the impact of news media on contemporary events and the lives of an ever-more-informed public. The Invention of News sheds light on who controlled the news and who reported it; the use of news as a tool of political protest and religious reform; issues of privacy and titillation; the persistent need for news to be current and for journalists to be trustworthy; and people’s changing sense of themselves and their communities as they experienced newly opened windows on the world. “This expansive view of news and how it reached people will be fascinating to readers interested in communication and cultural history.” —Library Journal (starred review)


John Aubrey

Author: Ruth Scurr
Publisher: Random House
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD This is the autobiography that John Aubrey never wrote. You may not know his name. Aubrey was a modest man, a gentleman-scholar who cared far more for the preservation of history than for his own legacy. But he was a passionate collector, an early archaeologist and the inventor of modern biography. With all the wit, charm and originality that characterises her subject, Ruth Scurr has seamlessly stitched together John Aubrey’s own words to tell his life story and a captivating history of seventeenth-century England unlike any other. 'A game-changer in the world of biography' Mary Beard 'Ingenious' Hilary Mantel 'Irresistible' Philip Pullman


Martyrdom and Terrorism

Author: Dominic Janes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In recent years, terrorism has become closely associated with martyrdom in the minds of many terrorists and in the view of nations around the world. In Islam, martyrdom is mostly conceived as "bearing witness" to faith and God. Martyrdom is also central to the Christian tradition, not only in the form of Christ's Passion or saints faced with persecution and death, but in the duty to lead a good and charitable life. In both religions, the association of religious martyrdom with political terror has a long and difficult history. The essays of this volume illuminate this history--following, for example, Christian martyrdom from its origins in the Roman world, to the experience of the deaths of "terrorist" leaders of the French Revolution, to parallels in the contemporary world--and explore historical parallels among Islamic, Christian, and secular traditions. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in a wide range of disciplines, Martyrdom and Terrorism provides a timely comparative history of the practices and discourses of terrorism and martyrdom from antiquity to the twenty-first century.


The Oxford Handbook of Political Leadership

Author: R. A. W. Rhodes
Publisher: OUP Oxford
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Political leadership has made a comeback. It was studied intensively not only by political scientists but also by political sociologists and psychologists, Sovietologists, political anthropologists, and by scholars in comparative and development studies from the 1940s to the 1970s. Thereafter, the field lost its way with the rise of structuralism, neo-institutionalism, and rational choice approaches to the study of politics, government, and governance. Recently, however, students of politics have returned to studying the role of individual leaders and the exercise of leadership to explain political outcomes. The list of topics is nigh endless: elections, conflict management, public policy, government popularity, development, governance networks, and regional integration. In the media age, leaders are presented and stage-managed—spun—as the solution to almost every social problem. Through the mass media and the Internet, citizens and professional observers follow the rise, impact, and fall of senior political officeholders at closer quarters than ever before. This Handbook encapsulates the resurgence by asking, where are we today? It orders the multidisciplinary field by identifying the distinct and distinctive contributions of the disciplines. It meets the urgent need to take stock. It brings together scholars from around the world, encouraging a comparative perspective, to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the major disciplines, methods, and regions. It showcases both the normative and empirical traditions in political leadership studies, and juxtaposes behavioural, institutional, and interpretive approaches. It covers formal, office-based as well as informal, emergent political leadership, and in both democratic and undemocratic polities.


Thomas Paine

Author: Albert Marrin
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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From National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin comes a compelling look at the life and impact of Thomas Paine and the profound power of ideas. Uneducated as a boy, Thomas Paine grew up to become one of the most influential writers of the 18th century. He brought the world Common Sense, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason; simply written, verbal battles against political, civil, and religious ignorance. Dubbed 'The Father of the American Revolution', Paine began his written reign by fervently proposing the idea of American independence from Great Britain, where he lived before emigrating to the United States in his thirties. As one historical event led to another, Paine continued to divulge his ideas to the public, risking his reputation and even his life. Award-winning author Albert Marrin illustrates the hardships and significance of a man's beliefs and its affects on our nation in a way that all ages can comprehend.