Phantom Terror: The Threat of Revolution and the Repression of Liberty 1789-1848

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9780007282760: Phantom Terror: The Threat of Revolution and the Repression of Liberty 1789-1848

A magnificent and timely examination of an age of fear, subversion, suppression and espionage, Adam Zamoyski explores the attempts of the governments of Europe to police the world in a struggle against obscure forces, seemingly dedicated to the overthrow of civilisation.

The advent of the French Revolution confirmed the worst fears of the rulers of Europe. They saw their states as storm-tossed vessels battered by terrible waves coming from every quarter and threatened by horrific monsters from the deep. Rulers' nerves were further unsettled by the voices of the Enlightenment, envisaging improvement only through a radical transformation of existing structures, with undeniable implications for the future role of the monarchy and the Church.

Napoleon's arrival on the European stage intensified these fears, and the changes he wrought across Europe fully justified them. Yet he also brought some comfort to those rulers who managed to survive: he had tamed the revolution in France and the hegemony he exercised over Europe was a kind of guarantee against subversion. Once Napoleon was toppled, the monarchs of Europe took over this role for themselves.

However, the nature of their attempts to impose order were not only ineffectual, they also managed to weaken the bases of that order. As counter-productive as anything, for example, was the use of force. Reliance on standing armies to maintain order only served to politicize the military and to give potential revolutionaries the opportunity to get their hands on a ready armed force.

The wave of revolutions in 1848 might have embodied the climactic clash that many had come to expect, but it was no Armageddon, lacking the kind of mass support that rulers had dreaded and revealed the groundlessness of most of their fears. Interestingly, the sense of a great, ill-defined, subversive threat never went away, indeed it lingers on even today in the minds of world leaders.

Adam Zamoyski's compelling history explores how the rulers and governments of the time really did envisage the future and how they meant to assure it.

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About the Author:

Adam Zamoyski was born in New York, was educated at Oxford, and lives in London. A full-time writer, his books include ‘Paderewski’, ‘The Last King of Poland’,‘1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow’, which was a Sunday Times bestseller, ‘Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna’, ‘Warsaw 1920’ and ‘Chopin’. He is married to the painter Emma Sergeant.

Review:

‘Vivid, terrifying and often quite funny ... an interesting take on 1848 ... this superbly drawn story is full of painful allegories’ The Times

‘Splendidly provocative ... perceptive and often amusing ... full of arresting details and sharp asides ... Adam Zamoyski writes like a dancer at a court ball: gracious, patrician, masterful, sure-footed ... Phantom Terror is a thumping great pleasure to read ... history at its best’ Spectator

‘Scintillating and original’ Economist

‘We know the Napoleonic era well, but the Decades after Napoleon’s fall are often neglected. Adam Zamoyski covers those years, showing how fear of revolution caused the autocrats of Europe to repress freedom on an unprecedented scale’ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Mail on Sunday

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Zamoyski, Adam.
Published by William Collins. 1 Cloth(s) (2014)
ISBN 10: 0007282761 ISBN 13: 9780007282760
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Book Description William Collins. 1 Cloth(s), 2014. hard. Book Condition: New. The bloodshed and mayhem of the French Revolution terrified rulers and landowners all across Europe, many of whom concluded that it was the result of a conspiracy hatched by Freemasons, inspired by Enlightenment ideals, and intended to overthrow the entire social order. They resorted to repression on an unprecedented scale, expanding police and spy networks in the process, anticipating a cataclysm that never came. In this occasionally chilling, often darkly hilarious history, the author of The Polish Way and Moscow 1812 illuminates how the modern state evolved through the expansion of its organs of control, and how this paradigm of order threatened by dark forces is still at work today. "Vivid, terrifying and often quite funny. This superbly drawn story is full of painful allegories."—Times (London)"We know the Napoleonic era well, but the Decades after Napoleon's fall are often neglected. Adam Zamoyski covers those years, showing how fear of revolution caused the autocrats of Europe to repress freedom on an unprecedented scale."—Mail on Sunday (London) 569. Bookseller Inventory # 72561

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Book Description William Collins, 2014. Book Condition: New. The French Revolution and the violence it unleashed terrified the ruling classes of Europe. After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, the victors united to restore the old order by any means necessary. This ground-breaking history shows how, from London to Moscow, they resorted to the use of secret police and the bayonet to ferret out real or imagined conspirators and crush subversion. Chilling and often darkly comic, it charts the development of the modern state and its covert organs of control. Bookseller Inventory # 222940

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Book Description Harper Collins 2014-10-09, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007282760B

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Book Description William Collins, U.S.A., 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. The French Revolution and the bloodcurling violence it engendered terrified the ruling and propertied classes of Europe. Unable to grasp how such horrors could have come about, many concluded that they were the result of a devilish conspiracy, hatched by Freemasons, inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment with the aim of overthrowing the entire social order, along with the legal and religious principles it stood on. Others traced it back to the Reformation or the Knights Templar, and ascribed to it even more sinister aims. Faced by this apparently occult threat, they resorted to repression on an unprecedented scale, expanding police and spy networks in the process. Napoleon managed to contain the revolutionary elements in France and those parts of Europe he controlled, but while many welcomed this, others saw in him no more than the spawn of the Revolution, propagating its doctrines by other means. After his defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the victors united in a Concert of Europe dedicated to the maintenance of the old order, the suppression of all opposition, and the ferreting out of the conspirators whom they believed to be plotting mayhem and murder in the shadows. In this groundbreaking study, bestselling historian Adam Zamoyski exposes how the rulers of Europe resorted to a pusillanimous, yet cynical, use of the police spy and the bayonet, which only intensified their own fears and pushed ordinary people towards subversion, building up the pressure of opposition to their rule. This compelling history, occasionally chilling and often hilarious, tells us a great deal about how the modern state evolved through the expansion of its organs of control, and holds urgent lessons for today. William Collins, Hardcover, 1st Edition, 2014 This is a BRAND NEW book. Bookseller Inventory # 000029

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Book Description William Collins, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0007282761. Bookseller Inventory # 01.UCLA9780007282760

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