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Virtue and Terror (Revolutions) Paperback – January 17, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal: terror, without which virtue is powerless." - Robespierre"

About the Author

Maximilien Robespierre is one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended with his arrest and execution in 1794.

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Revolutions
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (January 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184467584X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675845
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The very first point that should be made in this review is that this work is not, strictly speaking, for the layperson. If you do not have an adequate understanding of the chronology of the events, figures and terminology of the French Revolution then more likely than not you will be stumped by the introduction of the controversial philosopher Zizek and the even more enigmatic subject matter in question, Maximilien Robespierre.
A quiet and soft-spoken lawyer from Arras who gave up a judgeship because he could not countenance passing the death penalty in murder cases, Robespierre gained a reputation as the defender of the virtuous & the poor and was elected to the Estates-General in 1789 as a member of the Third Estate. Initially ridiculed for his weak speaking voice and ignored in the National Assembly, Robespierre soon gained the full attention of not only the Assembly but also a vast sea of admirers outside it. His democratic positions & proposals, such as opposition to censorship & the death penalty, against the property qualification for voting rights, for civil rights for Jews in France, and against the institution of slavery to name but a few won him many supporters. Robespierre's unimpeachable personal integrity was such that soon people, even his opponents, began acknowledging him as the "Incorruptible." Immune to bribes, flattery and threats, Robespierre was (and remains to this day) an exceptional politician in that he refused to compromise on principles even if they went against popular opinion (as evidenced during his lonely and unpopular opposition to the drive towards war in 1792 when he lost nearly all of his popularity and acclaim for his principled stand).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived in a timely fashion. Book expands on observations laid out in In Defense Of Lost Causes, though with more specific and likely arbitrary examples. It's what one would expect. Only if you have the time to track down all the references will you be able to really judge the thought. But if you're willing to trust Zizek, it's good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I needed for college class, but unable to sell it back!!!
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