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The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life
 
 
Author
David Lawday.
Publisher Grove  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780802119339
Pages/Publication Date 294/2009
Daedalus Item Code 32463
This item is not available.
Description
The French Revolution ended a monarchy that had ruled for almost a thousand years, and George-Jacques Danton was one of the driving forces behind it. In this first biography of Danton in over 40 years, the author of Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand reveals a larger-than-life figure who joined the fray at the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and was himself beheaded five years later. To hear Danton speak, his booming voice a roll of thunder, excited bourgeois reformers and commoners alike, notes longtime Economist correspondent David Lawday; his impassioned speeches drove the sans-culottes to action and kept the Revolution alive. But as the newly appointed Minister of Justice, Danton struggled to steer the increasingly divided Revolutionary government. Working tirelessly to halt the bloodshed of Robespierre's Terror, he ultimately became another of its victims. True to form, Danton did not go easily to the guillotine; at his trial, he defended himself with such vehemence that the tribunal hastily convicted him before he could rally the crowd in his favor.

"Lawday creates some great set pieces and striking turning points.... He is able to capture the atmosphere of the early Revolution: its inflammable mix of devilment and righteousness, reckless selflessness and flagrant self-promotion. He sees that Danton was more than the sum of his crimes, the sum of his secrets; he celebrates his 'large heart and violent impulses in irresolvable conflict'."—Hilary Mantel

 
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