The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life

The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life



10 thoughts on “The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life

  1. Joe Banks Joe Banks says:

    On a fine spring afternoon in Paris three centuries ago the extraordinary life of the brawny hero of the sans culottes, the man who had led revolutionary France through it s difficult infancy, Georges Jacques Danton, was ended on the guillotine His mighty voice, once the brashest trumpet of radicalism, which had helped to condemn a king to the same fate, was silenced, for advocating moderation and humanity amid the growing paranoia and violence of the revolution Facing death not with courage, On a fine spring afternoon in Paris three centuries ago the extraordinary life of the brawny hero of the sans culottes, the man who had led revolutionary France through it s difficult infancy, Georges Jacques Danton, was ended on the guillotine His mighty voice, once the brashest trumpet of radicalism, which had helped to condemn a king to the same fate, was silenced, for advocating moderation and humanity amid the growing paranoia and violence of the revolution Facing death not with courage, but rather with petulant daring pock marked, ugly as sin Danton claimed an existential triumph over the forces which destroyed him, with the defiant humour of his last words to the executioner Show my head to the people It s well worth a look.This is the Danton of David Lawday s excellent biography the fearless voice of compassion at a time of terror, the flamboyant orator who sometimes let his rhetoric get out of hand, the man who could be bribed, but never bought the bull in the china shop It is an impressionistic and admiring portrait, if ultimately it is too forgiving.The characterisation in this book is, from a narrative perspective really excellent Lawday describes the clash of personalities between the ascetic purist Robespierre and the populist sybarite Danton which ultimately led to their fatal falling out with a refined dramatic instinct Likewise the psychology of the hatred felt for Danton by Mme Roland, a key figure in the federalist Girondin movement is well explored, even if the author s analysis that this coarse manly ogre both repelled and fascinated her is laced with insinuation which could be viewed patronising or even chauvinistic There is a larger problem with the characterisation, which is that the historical and political disputes sometimes take a back seat to the psychological drama Explaining these figures motives from the scraps left to history, is a matter of intuition and guesswork, which the author does very well, but which does involve some dramatic license.The book praises Danton s actions as the de facto wartime leader of the revolution in 1793 The levee en masse is singled out as one of his greatest achievements, conscription on an unprecedented scale helped to protect the fledgling republic from the Austrian and Prussian armies His shrewd diplomacy and politics that year are equally lauded Even in his moment of triumph though, Danton was establishing what would become the twin engines of violence during the revolutionary terror, the committee of public safety and the revolutionary tribunal, which aimed to try, condemn and execute its victims within twenty four hours Lawday forgives this too easily Danton created these bodies to control the bloody passions of the Parisian mob, and to suppress a perceived fifth column of royalists and the die hard clergy within France, and, although he saw political violence as a double edged sword, eventually he unleashed it on the Girondin faction If he showed humanity and mercy in some situations it has to be weighed against the ruthless violence he was prepared to show at other times.This book is as daring and arresting as Danton himself It is extremely well written, and brings historical personalities to life in an immediate and exciting way It would be difficult to write a balanced view of the life and motives of Danton, he divided people in his own time and left little written explanation of his thoughts and feelings, despite living at a time when most people of his class wrote private letters by the score The author is perhaps entitled therefore to look at the brief, contradictory existence of Georges Jacques Danton his compassion, his courage, his crimes and see the best in him


  2. Celeste Celeste says:

    This book was very enjoyable, but I m not so sure about helpful Well, sure, it was helpful, but there was no information in this book that I couldn t have gotten anywhere else And I mean, if I could get all of this information andin another book, then why should I read this one I will admit that this book was very fun to read, which is great It s good to have something fun to read when you re reading for a historical project and a lot of times the books that you have to read for the sa This book was very enjoyable, but I m not so sure about helpful Well, sure, it was helpful, but there was no information in this book that I couldn t have gotten anywhere else And I mean, if I could get all of this information andin another book, then why should I read this one I will admit that this book was very fun to read, which is great It s good to have something fun to read when you re reading for a historical project and a lot of times the books that you have to read for the sake of learning are not necessarily entertaining But this book was fun No doubt of it We also got information on the friendship between Camille Desmoulins and Danton which is not something that we see often we see a lot of Robespierre s friendship with Camille, but Danton and Camille s friendship usually gets snubbed I d even argue that Camille was better friends with Danton than he was with Robespierre at least at the end of it all So it was good to see some of that I liked the wonderful way in which Mr Lawday illustrated Camille We often see Camille as just the right hand man who kind of sat in the background, but Mr Lawday brought him out of that backlight and showed how immensely courageous Camille was and could be as well as how absolutely essential Camille was to the revolution and bringing light to liberty.Overall, I liked this book I didn t love it, but it was good


  3. Kristen Kristen says:

    One of the most emotional biographies I have ever read Lawday s mixture of fact, quotations, and prose creates a truly moving book about one of the most vital figures of the French Revolution It is refreshing to find a writer who can talk about both Robespierre and Danton without demonizing the other Overall, a fantastic read I would recommend this to anyone who loves history in general Guest appearance by Thomas Paine makes it all the better.


  4. Morgan Sanders Morgan Sanders says:

    While interesting, it would have been nice to have annotations and citations in the book so it could be easier to differentiate between conjecture of the author and actual information.


  5. Ty Ty says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I really wanted to enjoy this book, but the author s rose colored blinders made it impossible At worst Danton is I blood thirsty tyrant corrupted by power, at best he is a stupidly reckless imbecile Either way he is to blame for the every negative aspect of the women s march on Versailles, the ravaging of the Tuileries the September Massacres, but the author can t help but downplay his role throughout the Revolution It began with the author s assignment of blame to Benjamin Franklin for Fra I really wanted to enjoy this book, but the author s rose colored blinders made it impossible At worst Danton is I blood thirsty tyrant corrupted by power, at best he is a stupidly reckless imbecile Either way he is to blame for the every negative aspect of the women s march on Versailles, the ravaging of the Tuileries the September Massacres, but the author can t help but downplay his role throughout the Revolution It began with the author s assignment of blame to Benjamin Franklin for Frances financial decline It s reasonable to say that the American Revolution cost the French a lot of financially, but the blame can hardly be placed upon Franklin s or America s shoulders when France had their own selfish reasons for helping America e.g sticking it to England They provided aid on their terms within their timetable Besides, the state of France s money matters, and the levels of separation between the monarchy, the church, the nobility literally everybody else had been incredibly unfair for over 1000 years These things, in addition to poor harvests, brought about the French Revolution, not America In fact, I think it s fair to say that if America can be blamed for anything it s that it inspired aequal system to be brought about Next, the author is ridiculously one sided when it comes to his views on Lafayette He continually blames him for major issues while completely ignoring the fact that he Lafayette was reacting to misfortunes rather than lighting the fuse For example, he claims Lafayette defected to the enemy when he fled Paris The truth is he saw where the Revolution was going decided to escape before he list his life Anyone with half a brain could see it was getting out of control anyone with the means to flee did just that That s not defection, it s self preservation Further, his actions after the war, til the end of his life, prove his devotion to his country Since this book was released in 2009 the author should ve known better not painted him out to be a villainous traitor His telling of the storming of the Tuileries Danton s lack of intervention during the September Massacres are also ridiculously underrepresented The murder savagery of those killed on August 10th isn t even mentioned the whole ordeal gets less than a footnote of attention In other words, the author glossed over the details to make Danton appear in a better light than he deserves During the September Massacres he literally says, to hell with the prisoners, let them save themselves, but the author claims he was helpless sickened GIVE ME A BREAK Perhaps Danton shouldn t have incited the violence brought about the murderous rampage I m only halfway through the book can t decide whether to finish it or not due to the lack of understanding sympathy the author has given to other key members of time his blindness towards Danton s own incredibly blatant faults Danton was a commanding presence, a force to be reckoned with To downplay his role in the Revolution is not only a great disservice to the man himself, but it s outright falsifying history Danton had numerous opportunities to intervene, but he chose not to He then continued to rouse the crowds encourageblood lust, that s hardly the behavior of a helpless, sickened individual


  6. Michael Drew Michael Drew says:

    Two and a half stars maybe Unfortunately, I read this on the heels of Hilary Mantel s A Place I d Greater Safety, which fleshes out the backstories and in betweens for Danton, Desmoulins and Robespierre so thoroughly and convincingly that this stylized account of Danton just couldn t hold a candle to Mantel s absolute torch.Still, not a bad read and thankfully quite concise.


  7. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    Lawday admits at the start that this is a slightly romanticised history, because Danton committed almost nothing to paper There are no footnotes, although there are references at the back giving some indication of where ideas and quotes came from And it is a bit romantic Lawday sometimes lets himself go on flights of descriptive fancy about the streets of Paris and the countryside around Arcis, Danton s birthplace and he gets a bit smoochy over Danton and his wife Gabrielle s relationship T Lawday admits at the start that this is a slightly romanticised history, because Danton committed almost nothing to paper There are no footnotes, although there are references at the back giving some indication of where ideas and quotes came from And it is a bit romantic Lawday sometimes lets himself go on flights of descriptive fancy about the streets of Paris and the countryside around Arcis, Danton s birthplace and he gets a bit smoochy over Danton and his wife Gabrielle s relationship The other romantic aspect, and the thing that annoyed me the most, was that Lawday s vision of Danton as a hero apparently demanded that there be a genuine fiction like villain for him to play against Robespierre, the man probably responsible for Danton s death, is the obvious candidate here, and Lawday goes out of his way to malign and belittle him as unmanly and insipid, in contrast to the testosterone fuelled Danton But what really, really got my back up was that Lawday also featured Manon Roland, wife of Danton s fellow elected official Jean Marie Roland It seems clear that Mme Roland and Danton did not get along Lawday, though, plays this up in sexualised and demeaning ways that were occasionally outright offensive Having recently read Liberty, about the contribution of women to the Revolution including Roland this got my goat eventhan it might have.Anyway, aside from that demonisation, I did really enjoy Danton Lawday gives a good running explanation of the Revolution such that I didn t get lost trying to figure out what else was going on at the time, and he does well at portraying Danton as intimately involved in most of the important events Some of this may be exaggeration, but not all of it It s largely well written, although I m not sure that I agree with The Economist that it s beautifully told It s eminently readable, anyway, and captures the energy and urgency of the Revolution I think this would be exceptionally good way in to the Revolution for someone with little knowledge of the events, but with a curiosity about people who shape events


  8. Alison Hardtmann Alison Hardtmann says:

    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a rip roaring adventure novel written so beautifully that a painful conflict ensues the need to read faster and faster to discover what will happen next and the desire to go slowly and linger over the words The book starts with a dramatic and dangerous birth, moves quickly to a contentious arrest and continues in the same head long rush Set on the tiny Dutch trading colony island of Dejima, outside of Nagasaki, Japan at the beginning of the nineteenth The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a rip roaring adventure novel written so beautifully that a painful conflict ensues the need to read faster and faster to discover what will happen next and the desire to go slowly and linger over the words The book starts with a dramatic and dangerous birth, moves quickly to a contentious arrest and continues in the same head long rush Set on the tiny Dutch trading colony island of Dejima, outside of Nagasaki, Japan at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the book tells the story of Jacob de Zoet, a young man come to gain his fortune so he can marry back home He s a man of quiet principle, but quickly finds that it s not always easy to determine the right action to take and he makes as many enemies as friends in his first months on Dejima I don t want to give anything away, except to say that as soon as I thought I knew what was going on and settled happily down to enjoy it, the plot would twist away in another direction The language is exquisite, with perfect phrases like lip chewed debtors rich in excuses or anger and self pity are lodged in his throat like fishbones Finally, the story is set in such a beautifully rich time and place, Mitchell clearly has researched extensively, but the knowledge feels natural I was disappointed to turn the final page and find that the book has ended


  9. Steven Peterson Steven Peterson says:

    This is a well written volume outlining the brief life of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, George Jacques Danton, a person large of size and large in his love of life His misshapen face and outsized voice are tools in Lawday s analysis of the man A couple caveats I am not normally well disposed to adducing thoughts to historical figures, but it seems to work fairly well in this book there is some hyperbole here and there could Danton s voice really travel as far as alleged.Non This is a well written volume outlining the brief life of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, George Jacques Danton, a person large of size and large in his love of life His misshapen face and outsized voice are tools in Lawday s analysis of the man A couple caveats I am not normally well disposed to adducing thoughts to historical figures, but it seems to work fairly well in this book there is some hyperbole here and there could Danton s voice really travel as far as alleged.Nonetheless, the book is a good read, introduces us to key figures in the French Revolution, and outlines why the Revolution went off the tracks to consume so many of its own including Danton himself.Thus, despite some questions that I might have, this is a useful volume for those who are curious about the figure of Danton and those around him


  10. Glenn Robinson Glenn Robinson says:

    The French Revolution is quite an interesting and insane period of time Danton was in the center of the Revolution from the very start, from the inside Courts of the Royals to the end with his execution Egging on the Revolutionists and seemingly indifferent to the amount of bloodshed, even his own, he created the mechanism for terror that others took over and put into overdrive How France survived this period is beyond me they were executing leaders of the Royals, the leaders of the initial r The French Revolution is quite an interesting and insane period of time Danton was in the center of the Revolution from the very start, from the inside Courts of the Royals to the end with his execution Egging on the Revolutionists and seemingly indifferent to the amount of bloodshed, even his own, he created the mechanism for terror that others took over and put into overdrive How France survived this period is beyond me they were executing leaders of the Royals, the leaders of the initial revolution and then leaders of the second and third rounds They turned on themselves on a daily basis and Danton, one of the main leaders, was indifferent until the last few months when he tried to stop the bloodshed This change marked him for death and that is what occurred


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The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life ➵ [Reading] ➷ The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life By David Lawday ➪ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk One of the Western world s most epic uprisings, the French Revolution ended a monarchy that had ruled for almost a thousand years George Jacques Danton was the driving force behind it In the first bio One of the Western world s of the PDF ↠ most epic uprisings, the French Revolution ended a monarchy that had ruled for almost a thousand years George Jacques Danton was the driving force behind it In the first biography of Danton in over forty years, David Lawday reveals the larger than life figure who joined the fray at the storming of the Bastille inand was dead five years laterTo hear Danton speak, his booming voice a roll of thunder, excited bourgeois The Giant MOBI :Þ reformers and the street alike his impassioned speeches, often hours long, 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 Giant of the Epub Ú convicted him before he could rally the crowd in his favorIn vivid, almost novelistic prose, Lawday leads us from Danton s humble roots to the streets of Revolutionary Paris, where this political legend acted on the stage of the revolution that altered Western civilization.

10 thoughts on “The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life

  1. Joe Banks Joe Banks says:

    On a fine spring afternoon in Paris three centuries ago the extraordinary life of the brawny hero of the sans culottes, the man who had led revolutionary France through it s difficult infancy, Georges Jacques Danton, was ended on the guillotine His mighty voice, once the brashest trumpet of radicalism, which had helped to condemn a king to the same fate, was silenced, for advocating moderation and humanity amid the growing paranoia and violence of the revolution Facing death not with courage, On a fine spring afternoon in Paris three centuries ago the extraordinary life of the brawny hero of the sans culottes, the man who had led revolutionary France through it s difficult infancy, Georges Jacques Danton, was ended on the guillotine His mighty voice, once the brashest trumpet of radicalism, which had helped to condemn a king to the same fate, was silenced, for advocating moderation and humanity amid the growing paranoia and violence of the revolution Facing death not with courage, but rather with petulant daring pock marked, ugly as sin Danton claimed an existential triumph over the forces which destroyed him, with the defiant humour of his last words to the executioner Show my head to the people It s well worth a look.This is the Danton of David Lawday s excellent biography the fearless voice of compassion at a time of terror, the flamboyant orator who sometimes let his rhetoric get out of hand, the man who could be bribed, but never bought the bull in the china shop It is an impressionistic and admiring portrait, if ultimately it is too forgiving.The characterisation in this book is, from a narrative perspective really excellent Lawday describes the clash of personalities between the ascetic purist Robespierre and the populist sybarite Danton which ultimately led to their fatal falling out with a refined dramatic instinct Likewise the psychology of the hatred felt for Danton by Mme Roland, a key figure in the federalist Girondin movement is well explored, even if the author s analysis that this coarse manly ogre both repelled and fascinated her is laced with insinuation which could be viewed patronising or even chauvinistic There is a larger problem with the characterisation, which is that the historical and political disputes sometimes take a back seat to the psychological drama Explaining these figures motives from the scraps left to history, is a matter of intuition and guesswork, which the author does very well, but which does involve some dramatic license.The book praises Danton s actions as the de facto wartime leader of the revolution in 1793 The levee en masse is singled out as one of his greatest achievements, conscription on an unprecedented scale helped to protect the fledgling republic from the Austrian and Prussian armies His shrewd diplomacy and politics that year are equally lauded Even in his moment of triumph though, Danton was establishing what would become the twin engines of violence during the revolutionary terror, the committee of public safety and the revolutionary tribunal, which aimed to try, condemn and execute its victims within twenty four hours Lawday forgives this too easily Danton created these bodies to control the bloody passions of the Parisian mob, and to suppress a perceived fifth column of royalists and the die hard clergy within France, and, although he saw political violence as a double edged sword, eventually he unleashed it on the Girondin faction If he showed humanity and mercy in some situations it has to be weighed against the ruthless violence he was prepared to show at other times.This book is as daring and arresting as Danton himself It is extremely well written, and brings historical personalities to life in an immediate and exciting way It would be difficult to write a balanced view of the life and motives of Danton, he divided people in his own time and left little written explanation of his thoughts and feelings, despite living at a time when most people of his class wrote private letters by the score The author is perhaps entitled therefore to look at the brief, contradictory existence of Georges Jacques Danton his compassion, his courage, his crimes and see the best in him

  2. Celeste Celeste says:

    This book was very enjoyable, but I m not so sure about helpful Well, sure, it was helpful, but there was no information in this book that I couldn t have gotten anywhere else And I mean, if I could get all of this information andin another book, then why should I read this one I will admit that this book was very fun to read, which is great It s good to have something fun to read when you re reading for a historical project and a lot of times the books that you have to read for the sa This book was very enjoyable, but I m not so sure about helpful Well, sure, it was helpful, but there was no information in this book that I couldn t have gotten anywhere else And I mean, if I could get all of this information andin another book, then why should I read this one I will admit that this book was very fun to read, which is great It s good to have something fun to read when you re reading for a historical project and a lot of times the books that you have to read for the sake of learning are not necessarily entertaining But this book was fun No doubt of it We also got information on the friendship between Camille Desmoulins and Danton which is not something that we see often we see a lot of Robespierre s friendship with Camille, but Danton and Camille s friendship usually gets snubbed I d even argue that Camille was better friends with Danton than he was with Robespierre at least at the end of it all So it was good to see some of that I liked the wonderful way in which Mr Lawday illustrated Camille We often see Camille as just the right hand man who kind of sat in the background, but Mr Lawday brought him out of that backlight and showed how immensely courageous Camille was and could be as well as how absolutely essential Camille was to the revolution and bringing light to liberty.Overall, I liked this book I didn t love it, but it was good

  3. Kristen Kristen says:

    One of the most emotional biographies I have ever read Lawday s mixture of fact, quotations, and prose creates a truly moving book about one of the most vital figures of the French Revolution It is refreshing to find a writer who can talk about both Robespierre and Danton without demonizing the other Overall, a fantastic read I would recommend this to anyone who loves history in general Guest appearance by Thomas Paine makes it all the better.

  4. Morgan Sanders Morgan Sanders says:

    While interesting, it would have been nice to have annotations and citations in the book so it could be easier to differentiate between conjecture of the author and actual information.

  5. Ty Ty says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I really wanted to enjoy this book, but the author s rose colored blinders made it impossible At worst Danton is I blood thirsty tyrant corrupted by power, at best he is a stupidly reckless imbecile Either way he is to blame for the every negative aspect of the women s march on Versailles, the ravaging of the Tuileries the September Massacres, but the author can t help but downplay his role throughout the Revolution It began with the author s assignment of blame to Benjamin Franklin for Fra I really wanted to enjoy this book, but the author s rose colored blinders made it impossible At worst Danton is I blood thirsty tyrant corrupted by power, at best he is a stupidly reckless imbecile Either way he is to blame for the every negative aspect of the women s march on Versailles, the ravaging of the Tuileries the September Massacres, but the author can t help but downplay his role throughout the Revolution It began with the author s assignment of blame to Benjamin Franklin for Frances financial decline It s reasonable to say that the American Revolution cost the French a lot of financially, but the blame can hardly be placed upon Franklin s or America s shoulders when France had their own selfish reasons for helping America e.g sticking it to England They provided aid on their terms within their timetable Besides, the state of France s money matters, and the levels of separation between the monarchy, the church, the nobility literally everybody else had been incredibly unfair for over 1000 years These things, in addition to poor harvests, brought about the French Revolution, not America In fact, I think it s fair to say that if America can be blamed for anything it s that it inspired aequal system to be brought about Next, the author is ridiculously one sided when it comes to his views on Lafayette He continually blames him for major issues while completely ignoring the fact that he Lafayette was reacting to misfortunes rather than lighting the fuse For example, he claims Lafayette defected to the enemy when he fled Paris The truth is he saw where the Revolution was going decided to escape before he list his life Anyone with half a brain could see it was getting out of control anyone with the means to flee did just that That s not defection, it s self preservation Further, his actions after the war, til the end of his life, prove his devotion to his country Since this book was released in 2009 the author should ve known better not painted him out to be a villainous traitor His telling of the storming of the Tuileries Danton s lack of intervention during the September Massacres are also ridiculously underrepresented The murder savagery of those killed on August 10th isn t even mentioned the whole ordeal gets less than a footnote of attention In other words, the author glossed over the details to make Danton appear in a better light than he deserves During the September Massacres he literally says, to hell with the prisoners, let them save themselves, but the author claims he was helpless sickened GIVE ME A BREAK Perhaps Danton shouldn t have incited the violence brought about the murderous rampage I m only halfway through the book can t decide whether to finish it or not due to the lack of understanding sympathy the author has given to other key members of time his blindness towards Danton s own incredibly blatant faults Danton was a commanding presence, a force to be reckoned with To downplay his role in the Revolution is not only a great disservice to the man himself, but it s outright falsifying history Danton had numerous opportunities to intervene, but he chose not to He then continued to rouse the crowds encourageblood lust, that s hardly the behavior of a helpless, sickened individual

  6. Michael Drew Michael Drew says:

    Two and a half stars maybe Unfortunately, I read this on the heels of Hilary Mantel s A Place I d Greater Safety, which fleshes out the backstories and in betweens for Danton, Desmoulins and Robespierre so thoroughly and convincingly that this stylized account of Danton just couldn t hold a candle to Mantel s absolute torch.Still, not a bad read and thankfully quite concise.

  7. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    Lawday admits at the start that this is a slightly romanticised history, because Danton committed almost nothing to paper There are no footnotes, although there are references at the back giving some indication of where ideas and quotes came from And it is a bit romantic Lawday sometimes lets himself go on flights of descriptive fancy about the streets of Paris and the countryside around Arcis, Danton s birthplace and he gets a bit smoochy over Danton and his wife Gabrielle s relationship T Lawday admits at the start that this is a slightly romanticised history, because Danton committed almost nothing to paper There are no footnotes, although there are references at the back giving some indication of where ideas and quotes came from And it is a bit romantic Lawday sometimes lets himself go on flights of descriptive fancy about the streets of Paris and the countryside around Arcis, Danton s birthplace and he gets a bit smoochy over Danton and his wife Gabrielle s relationship The other romantic aspect, and the thing that annoyed me the most, was that Lawday s vision of Danton as a hero apparently demanded that there be a genuine fiction like villain for him to play against Robespierre, the man probably responsible for Danton s death, is the obvious candidate here, and Lawday goes out of his way to malign and belittle him as unmanly and insipid, in contrast to the testosterone fuelled Danton But what really, really got my back up was that Lawday also featured Manon Roland, wife of Danton s fellow elected official Jean Marie Roland It seems clear that Mme Roland and Danton did not get along Lawday, though, plays this up in sexualised and demeaning ways that were occasionally outright offensive Having recently read Liberty, about the contribution of women to the Revolution including Roland this got my goat eventhan it might have.Anyway, aside from that demonisation, I did really enjoy Danton Lawday gives a good running explanation of the Revolution such that I didn t get lost trying to figure out what else was going on at the time, and he does well at portraying Danton as intimately involved in most of the important events Some of this may be exaggeration, but not all of it It s largely well written, although I m not sure that I agree with The Economist that it s beautifully told It s eminently readable, anyway, and captures the energy and urgency of the Revolution I think this would be exceptionally good way in to the Revolution for someone with little knowledge of the events, but with a curiosity about people who shape events

  8. Alison Hardtmann Alison Hardtmann says:

    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a rip roaring adventure novel written so beautifully that a painful conflict ensues the need to read faster and faster to discover what will happen next and the desire to go slowly and linger over the words The book starts with a dramatic and dangerous birth, moves quickly to a contentious arrest and continues in the same head long rush Set on the tiny Dutch trading colony island of Dejima, outside of Nagasaki, Japan at the beginning of the nineteenth The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a rip roaring adventure novel written so beautifully that a painful conflict ensues the need to read faster and faster to discover what will happen next and the desire to go slowly and linger over the words The book starts with a dramatic and dangerous birth, moves quickly to a contentious arrest and continues in the same head long rush Set on the tiny Dutch trading colony island of Dejima, outside of Nagasaki, Japan at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the book tells the story of Jacob de Zoet, a young man come to gain his fortune so he can marry back home He s a man of quiet principle, but quickly finds that it s not always easy to determine the right action to take and he makes as many enemies as friends in his first months on Dejima I don t want to give anything away, except to say that as soon as I thought I knew what was going on and settled happily down to enjoy it, the plot would twist away in another direction The language is exquisite, with perfect phrases like lip chewed debtors rich in excuses or anger and self pity are lodged in his throat like fishbones Finally, the story is set in such a beautifully rich time and place, Mitchell clearly has researched extensively, but the knowledge feels natural I was disappointed to turn the final page and find that the book has ended

  9. Steven Peterson Steven Peterson says:

    This is a well written volume outlining the brief life of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, George Jacques Danton, a person large of size and large in his love of life His misshapen face and outsized voice are tools in Lawday s analysis of the man A couple caveats I am not normally well disposed to adducing thoughts to historical figures, but it seems to work fairly well in this book there is some hyperbole here and there could Danton s voice really travel as far as alleged.Non This is a well written volume outlining the brief life of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, George Jacques Danton, a person large of size and large in his love of life His misshapen face and outsized voice are tools in Lawday s analysis of the man A couple caveats I am not normally well disposed to adducing thoughts to historical figures, but it seems to work fairly well in this book there is some hyperbole here and there could Danton s voice really travel as far as alleged.Nonetheless, the book is a good read, introduces us to key figures in the French Revolution, and outlines why the Revolution went off the tracks to consume so many of its own including Danton himself.Thus, despite some questions that I might have, this is a useful volume for those who are curious about the figure of Danton and those around him

  10. Glenn Robinson Glenn Robinson says:

    The French Revolution is quite an interesting and insane period of time Danton was in the center of the Revolution from the very start, from the inside Courts of the Royals to the end with his execution Egging on the Revolutionists and seemingly indifferent to the amount of bloodshed, even his own, he created the mechanism for terror that others took over and put into overdrive How France survived this period is beyond me they were executing leaders of the Royals, the leaders of the initial r The French Revolution is quite an interesting and insane period of time Danton was in the center of the Revolution from the very start, from the inside Courts of the Royals to the end with his execution Egging on the Revolutionists and seemingly indifferent to the amount of bloodshed, even his own, he created the mechanism for terror that others took over and put into overdrive How France survived this period is beyond me they were executing leaders of the Royals, the leaders of the initial revolution and then leaders of the second and third rounds They turned on themselves on a daily basis and Danton, one of the main leaders, was indifferent until the last few months when he tried to stop the bloodshed This change marked him for death and that is what occurred

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