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Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith Paperback – January 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0765804716 ISBN-10: 0765804719

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 677 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765804719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765804716
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James H. Billington is currently the Librarian of Congress. Before that, he served as director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has been a leading figure in American academic exchange programs, and served as past chairman of the Board of Foreign Scholarship, which directs the Fulbright Program. He is author of Mikhailovsky and Russian Populism and The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Henri Porter on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Anyone who reads this and is still a bit unsure should read Yevgeny Zamyatin's book WE and Djilas' The New Class. If they are looking for the philosophical approach to the book, they should read Voegelin and any of his works that deal with the philosophical underpinning of what Billington is addressing in this fantastic work. Billington is a Rhodes Scholar. He is a visiting Professor to Harvard and Princeton. His works on Russia are definitive. This book being his best, is his dedication to Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground and Demons. It is scary and brilliant. It answers the question of the two opposing "secret" warring groups one the proponents of freewill the others proponents of the collective and or the secular super powerful state. All this and according to Billington's work, the most startling aspect, is that journalists are the very agents of this revolutionary activity. Puts a very scientism spin on things like global warming and afro-centrism.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Earth that Was on May 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the great history books of our time.

Billington provides a comprehensive account of the revolutionary obsession from the 18th until the 20th century. He examines in particular national and socialist revolution and the cast of sometimes bizarre characters, cults and conspiracies that peppered these movements.

Beautifully written, it is a joy to read. Billington treats his subject matter with empathy but is by no means a revolutionist himself.

Gibbon's "Decline aand Fall of the Roman Empire" is still being read today more than three centuries after it was penned. Billington's book will be a must read centuries from now too.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ms.Beyonce on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is another MUST read for ALL AMERICANS or any serious minded student of history,professional or not.Mr.Billington,who I believe is still head of the Library of Congress(though he MAY have recently retired)was appointted,to that position by Reagan, explores the role secret societies have played in revolutionary movements since the time of the AMERICAN/FRENCH revolution to the RUSSIAN revolution.It MAY change your view on "How the World Really Works.I stole that lasy phrase from the late Mr.Wanniski-a conservative.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Goodview on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand what really happened in the past 200 or so years, this is the book for you to start that journey.
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Format: Paperback
Why isn't this available for my Kindle Paperwhite? I see it available on Google eBooks for $31.95 so am requesting Amazon get this for their Kindle customers. I'd place the request to Amazon but see no place to do that.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon Nelson on May 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
When this book first came out , it got attention from the get go. This is one of the greatest history books ever written. If you were only going to read 25 books to become educated: this would be on the list. With footnotes in 7 languages this path breaking book looks at the origins of the revolutionary faith. James Billington 's thesis is original. He deals with the occult. Currently , Billington is the Librarian of Congress.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ray on January 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Am still in the process of reading the book, as it is a good-sized tome. But it is worth every page. On the same level as 'Democracy in America' by Toquevile.
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