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Holy Madness : Romanatics, Patriots and Revolutionaries 1776-1871

Zamoyski, Adam

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ISBN 10: 0297815717 / ISBN 13: 9780297815716
Verlag: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999
Gebraucht Zustand: Good Softcover
Verkäufer Ken Spelman Books ABA, PBFA. (est 1948) (York, Vereinigtes Königreich)

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Titel: Holy Madness : Romanatics, Patriots and ...

Verlag: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Erscheinungsdatum: 1999

Einband: Trade Paperback


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The "Age of Revolutions", which began in France in 1789 and culminated in the universal explosion of 1848, transformed the nature of politics. The Romantic movement in literature, art and music transformed the West's outlook and system of values. The connection between the two is, the author argues, crucial to an understanding of the modern world, for, in his opinion, it reveals how those revolutions were made, and why most of them ended in failure. He also argues that the connection explains where most of the accepted pieties of modern social and political life come from, and that it has left us with all that is most terrifying in modern life, from genocide to political correctness. Concentrating not on dogma, but rather on the people who led the historical and cultural phenomena that were the "Age of Revolutions" and the Romantic movement, this book examines how the hearts and minds of key figures and of the masses alike were conditioned by cultural factors.


In Holy Madness, Adam Zamoyski has written a history of revolutions, and of the romantic and sometimes ridiculous revolutionaries who inspired them. But because revolution was so ubiquitous an activity in the 19th century, what he has actually produced is a comprehensive account of Western civilization from 1776 to 1871. Inspired by the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789), the whole of Europe, and large portions of the rest of the world, was regularly convulsed by the urge to fashion Utopia on Earth. Zamoyski manages to flesh out these events with well-chosen detail and a fine sense of the touching comic-heroics they often entailed, as well as the bloodletting and the horror. As a historian of Poland, Zamoyski untangles the many uprisings in Eastern Europe with particular aplomb, but his account of France is also adept, with a vivid portrayal of the idealism of the Paris Commune, overthrown in 1871.

Holy Madness advances a particular argument: that the century of revolutionary upheaval was the direct result of the waning of religion as a universal human-value system. Post-Enlightenment men and women turned to the ecstasies of patriotism and revolution to fill the void left by belief in God, hoping to construct a paradise on Earth rather than wait for one in heaven. According to this thesis, revolution was a new theology: "The theology may have been shaky, but the new religion did have a god. That god was the sovereign nation, whose service was the highest calling, as countless revolutionary catechisms pointed out." It's an ingenious line, worked through thoroughly, although it doesn't explain everything--for instance, why Britain was almost entirely free of revolutionary upset during the same period. But this is thought-provoking and well-made historical writing. --Adam Roberts,

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Fine, Rare and Antiquarian as well as Academic Books on a very wide range of subjects, particularly Art, Architecture, Design, Landscape Gardening, Aesthetics, Manuscripts, The Grand Tour,and 18th century Literature & History. Over 40,000 titles in stock. Fine illustrated catalogues issued 6 times a year, please write to receive these. Established 1948. Member of ABA, ILAB and PBFA. Owner: Tony Fothergill

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