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CITIZENS & CANNIBALS: The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity, and the Origins of Ideological Terror

Sagan, Eli

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ISBN 10: 0742508315 / ISBN 13: 9780742508316
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc, Lanham, Maryland,, 2001
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

cloth, xii, 624 pages, half title has 3 line inscription of former owner, else a clean, bright copy, in protective mylar jacket," More successfully than anyone thus far, Eli Sagan has brought us close to a real understanding of the causes of the French Revolutionary Terror, and thereby, to a comprehension of the greatest scourge of the twentieth century; idealogical terror." from the back panel Size: 8 Vo., Bookseller Inventory # 1123535

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Bibliographic Details

Title: CITIZENS & CANNIBALS: The French Revolution,...

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc, Lanham, Maryland,

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Why did the French Revolution, informed by Enlightenment principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, end in the Great Reign of Terror? How could once moral citizens transform themselves into bloodthirsty "guillotine cannibals" bent on slaughtering their political opponents? For generations, these questions have mystified historians. Until now. In Citizens and Cannibals, noted scholar Eli Sagan argues that France's failed evolution into a modern state introduced to the world a previously unknown scourge with catastrophic consequences: ideological terror.
France's passage into social and political modernity held for its citizens both great promise and great anxiety. Sagan analyzes this anxiety and demonstrates why the ensuing ideological terror is common to many societies in transition, including the transformations of Weimar to Nazi Germany, Czarist to Soviet Russia, and agrarian to Communist China. While the French Revolution may have introduced ideological terror to the world, Sagan makes it clear that Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators have perpetuated its existence time after time. In fact, Sagan concludes that the seeds of ideological terror remain present in all modernizing societies, at all times, and if given the proper conditions they will germinate in a very predictable way.
As in his previous books, Sagan explores the past to illuminate the political strengths and moral shortcomings of all democratic societies, past, present, and future. With this brilliant new analysis of the French Revolution, he reminds us once again that the past can still teach us a great deal about our modern predicament―specifically, why all political progress must come at grave cost. Citizens and Cannibals is a rigorous work of history and profound psychological insight that offers readers the most comprehensive explanation of the great ambiguities and contradictions of the modern world.

About the Author:

Eli Sagan is the author of several books, most recently The Honey and the Hemlock (Basic Books) and At the Dawn of Tyranny (Knopf). He lives in Englewood, NJ with his wife Frimi.

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