Citizens and Cannibals (The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity and the Origins of Ideological Terror)

Citizens and Cannibals (The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity and the Origins of Ideological Terror)

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The French Revolution introduced ideological terror to the world. This book offers a comprehensive explanation of the gruesome Terror, its causes and its consequences for the modern world., Why did the French Revolution, informed by Enlightenment principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, end in the Great Reign of Terror? How could once moral citizens transform themselves into bloodthirsty "guillotine cannibals" bent on slaughtering their political opponents? For generations, these questions have mystified historians. Until now. In Citizens and Cannibals, noted scholar Eli Sagan argues that France's failed evolution into a modern state introduced to the world a previously unknown scourge with catastrophic consequences: ideological terror. France's passage into social and political modernity held for its citizens both great promise and great anxiety. Sagan analyzes this anxiety and demonstrates why the ensuing ideological terror is common to many societies in transition, including the transformations of Weimar to Nazi Germany, Czarist to Soviet Russia, and agrarian to Communist China. While the French Revolution may have introduced ideological terror to the world, Sagan makes it clear that Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators have perpetuated its existence time after time. In fact, Sagan concludes that the seeds of ideological terror remain present in all modernizing societies, at all times, and if given the proper conditions they will germinate in a very predictable way. As in his previous books, Sagan explores the past to illuminate the political strengths and moral shortcomings of all democratic societies, past, present, and future. With this brilliant new analysis of the French Revolution, he reminds us once again that the past can still teach us a great deal about our modern predicament-specifically, why all political progress must come at grave cost. Citizens and Cannibals is a rigorous work of history and profound psychological insight that offers readers the most comprehensive explanation of the great ambiguities and contradictions of the modern world., Chapter 1 Introduction: The Intent of the Book Part 2 The Great Struggle for Modernity Chapter 3 The Triumph of Liberalism: Values, Mores, Mentalites Chapter 4 The Triumph of Liberalism: Institutions Chapter 5 One Revolution or Three? Chapter 6 The Promise of Democratic Citizenship Chapter 7 The Betrayal of the Promise of Democracy Chapter 8 The Mirage of Democratic Citizenship Chapter 9 The Bourgeois Life and Capitalism Chapter 10 The Terrifying Paradox of Individualism Chapter 11 Secular Society, Nationalism, and the Secular Sacred Chapter 12 To Rationalize Society-To Order the World Part 13 The Possible Outcomes of the Struggle for Modernity Chapter 14 Anarchy and the Fear of Anarchy Chapter 15 Riot, Gangsterism, Conservative Dictatorship Chapter 16 Civilian Control of the Military: The Militia and a Citizen Army Part 17 Modernity Psychosis: The Great Terror Chapter 18 Paranoid Panic; Human Sacrifice as Paranoid Revenge; Scapegoats Chapter 19 Enemies Without-Traitors Within; Paranoid Purging and Self-Destruction Chapter 20 The Great Promise and the Great Anxiety of Modernity Chapter 21 The Splitting of the Psyche; The Splitting of the World; The Projection of Uncontaminated Virtue and Absolute Evil Chapter 22 The Flight to Perfection: Utopianism as a Defence against Modernity-Anxiety Chapter 23 Regression to the Borderline Condition: On the Psychology of Ideological Terror Chapter 24 Terror Chapter 25 Robespierre, Virtuous; Robespierre, Paranoid; Robespierre, Narcissist; Robespierre, Dictator; Robespierre, Genius of Moral Critique; Robespierre, Terrorist Part 26 Social Evolution Chapter 27 Why and Where Has God Been Pushing Us? Chapter 28 The Politics of the Impossible: Skipping a Developmental Stage Chapter 29 Notes, Bibliography Chapter 30 Index, History is served well in Eli Sagan's Citizens and Cannibals. Sagan provides worthy insights into the revolutionary and evolutionary processes unleashed when nations take the wrong path to democracy. If you enjoy reading history, you will want to read this book. Bookviews.Com More successfully than anyone thus far, Eli Sagan has brought us close to a real understanding of the causes of the French Revolutionary Terror, and thereby, to a comprehension of the greatest scourge of the twentieth century: ideological terror. Anyone intrigued by the paradoxes and contradictions of the modern world must read this book. -- Robert Bellah, Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; coauthor of Habits of the Heart Robespierre-and later Lenin-were men of virtue, but the regimes they created spawned terror. Why? Eli Sagan's book is a comprehensive effort to provide an answer. -- Daniel Bell Eli Sagan is that great rarity-the truly independent scholar. He belongs to no school. He follows no fashion. Instead, he crafts complex, tough-minded works on huge subjects. He doesn't shy away from big questions. In this moving plea for the creation of citizens freed from the destructive burdens of resentment and paranoia, he strikes a blow for moral freedom. -- Jean Bethke Elshtain, The Laura Spelman Rockeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, University of Chicago; author of Just War Against Terror Citizens and Cannibals, by Eli Sagan, is fascinating and thought-provoking. It is a very important contribution to the study of the French Revolution and the origins of Ideological Terror. -- Michael Kennedy, author of The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution, 1793-1795 I find the book fascinating, provocative, and enormously stimulating. Sagan's observations in this and in his earlier book, The Honey and the Hemlock, are often original and insightful and of great value in assisting the historian in understanding certain aspects of Revolutionary behavior. I have learned much from him. -- Timothy Tackett, University of California, Irvine Important and timely... book. Library Journal Recommended for serious students of the French Revolution. Publishers Weekly Citizens and Cannibals siezes our imagination, not with sociological theories and psychoanalytic attempts to divine the wellsptring of human iniquity, but with compelling descriptions of pernicious edicts, fanatical leaders, and innocents massacred on altars of Ideological Truth. -- Michael Burns The American Scholar, Eli Sagan is the author of several books, most recently The Honey and the Hemlock (Basic Books) and At the Dawn of Tyranny (Knopf). He lives in Englewood, NJ with his wife Frimi.

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