The Giant of the French Revolution

Danton, A Life
Author(s): David Lawday
Original Publish Date: Jul 06, 2010
Product Number: EB00641266
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780802197023
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
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A biography of Georges-Jacques Danton, a leading French revolutionary—from his rural upbringing to his death five years after the storming of the Bastille. One of the Western world's most epic uprisings, the French Revolution ended a monarchy that had ruled for almost a thousand years. Georges-Jacques Danton was the driving force behind it. Now David Lawday, author of Napoleon's Master, reveals the larger-than-life figure who joined the fray at the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and was dead five years later. To hear Danton speak, his booming voice a roll of thunder, excited bourgeois reformers and the street alike; his impassioned speeches, often hours long, drove the sans-culottes to action and kept the Revolution alive. But as the newly appointed Minister of Justice, Danton struggled to steer the increasingly divided Revolutionary government. Working tirelessly to halt the bloodshed of Robespierre's terror, he ultimately became another of its victims. True to form, Danton did not go easily to the guillotine; at his trial, he defended himself with such vehemence that the tribunal convicted him before he could rally the crowd in his favor. In vivid, almost novelistic prose, Lawday leads us from Danton's humble roots to the streets of revolutionary Paris, where this political legend acted on the stage of the revolution that altered Western civilization. "A gripping story, beautifully told . . . Danton was a headstrong firebrand, a swashbuckling political showman with a prodigious memory, whose spectacular oratory held audiences in thrall." —The Economist

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