By Ruth Scurr Fatal Purity Robespierre And The French Revolution
"Judicious, balanced, and admirably clear at every point. This is quite the calmest and least abusive history of the Revolution you will ever read."―Hilary Mantel, London Review of BooksSince his execution by guillotine in July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre has been contested terrain for historians. Was he a bloodthirsty charlatan or the only true defender of revolutionary ideals? The first modern dictator or the earliest democrat? Was his extreme moralism a heroic virtue or a ruinous flaw? Against the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution, historian Ruth Scurr tracks Robespierre's evolution from provincial lawyer to devastatingly efficient revolutionary leader, righteous and paranoid in equal measure.