From the author of The Hinge Factor and The Weather Factor comes a fascinating new look at the history of revolution, at the people and events that brought wrenching, often enduring -- and always bloody -- change to countries and societies almost overnight.
Using historical texts and eyewitness accounts, Durschmied analyzes a broad range of revolutions and revolts over the last two hundred years. In doing so, he asks the question: what do revolutions -- almost always made in the name of freedom -- really change? Unlike the American Revolution, which is the counterexample to those presented in this book, few revolutions are spared the harsh reality that most devour their own children.
Durschmied begins his account with the French Revolution, when the maladroit, overweight Louis XVI faces the fiery Robespierre. He goes on to recount the story of the patriotic Andreas Hofer, who dreamed of a Tyrol free from foreign oppression and dared to stand up to Napoleon in 1809; Pancho Villa's 1910 revolution in Mexico; and the role of the "red" triumvirate of Lenin-Trotsky-Stalin in the Russian Revolution. Durschmied continues with the 1919 uprising in Germany that culminated in the murder of Rosa Luxemburg, as well as Colonel Claus Schenck Graf von Strauffenberg's failed putsch against Hitler in 1944. He also considers Japan's "longest day," the insurrection in response to the abolishment of the emperor cult in 1945. His account of the Cuban revolution, and the key role Che Guevara played in it, is peppered with personal anecdotes -- for Durschmied was the first foreign correspondent to meet Castro when the future leader was still in the Sierra Maestra. He concludes his survey with the Iranian Revolution that ousted the Shah in 1979.
Each revolution, Durschmied contends, has its own dynamic and fascinating cast of characters, but all too often, as this well researched work shows, the end result is the same: mayhem, betrayal, glory, and death.
|Edition description:||1ST US|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.25(d)|
About the Author
Erik Durschmied is a military historian and award-winning journalist who has been a correspondent for Newsweek as well as the BBC and CBS. He has personally covered wars and revolutions in Cuba, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He lives in France.