Book Review: Paris in Terror: The Men and Women Who Led the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution by Stanley Loomis
“The past is also the present and the future. The nation that forgets that is doomed.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
A cautionary tale. These men and women meant to do away with all that was old and bad and create a heaven on earth. They not only failed but failed so horribly and spectacularly that the Reign of Terrorhas become the byword for populous hubris. It is not only the elites who degrade and dehumanize people; it is sometimes also those who purport to represent and lead the masses.
“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” Harry S Truman
Having said that, Loomis had a transparent agenda as well. He picks favorites among the revolutionaries and brings them to life, sometimes horrible, often fascinating. But after all, history is not fundamentally about days and documents and battles, it’s about people: who they are, what they believe, what they do. And also, how they influence or forecast what happens thereafter.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
(quotes not from book)