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“We were not waiting merely for a book like this; this is the book we were waiting for.”
“A bold reconstruction of the emotions that drove the French revolutionaries to terror … [Wahnich’s] premise is that dismissive disgust at blood spilt and life lost is an edifying but overly simplistic and apolitical response to revolution past and present.”
“Our default position has become one of lazy dismissal: with all of the blood and brutality, how could we, why would we, want to consider the Terror as anything but a horror show? … Wahnich’s subversive reflection is that far from taking lives, the Terror was actually about saving them.”
“Sophie Wahnich illuminates the origins of the French revolutionary terror in an effort to help us to think clearly about the relationships between revolution, violence and terror in general.”
“In Defence of the Terror is a provocative and compelling essay, well written and impressively concise, with a good mix of contemporary resonance and archival detail.”
“An intriguing take on modern social issues and history.”
“In this portable (5.5x8") study, Wahnich (the Laboratory of the Anthropology of Institutions and Social Organizations, France) goes against current historical interpretations of the Jacobin Terror of the French Revolution when she says that the Terror was a precisely planned and controlled attempt to prevent further violence by the public. She also compares the French revolutionary Terror with recent fundamentalist terrorism.”