"One by one—Robespierre in his turn, too—the leaders of the Revolution were to be struck down by... disgust, that fatal lassitude which, at the very moment when struggle was most urgent, seemed to paralyze their wills." In this manner we are privileged to read, not just one more book on the Revolution in France, but a prose masterwork which makes that dreadful part of history comprehensible. Many earlier descriptions seemed more to obscure events by the hot breath of the authors; some organized a counterforce, composed of clouds which lay heavily on their own estimate of man's nature and his capacity for murder and vengeance. Many of us have thought, when reading of the French Revolution, as did Edmund Burke when considering America, that if we did not understand the subject it was not for want of effort. Stanley Loomis offers us both courage and caution. Americans would do well
Needles RJ. Paris in the Terror.. Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):181–183. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070227058
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.