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How to Revolt

Earlier this year, a Seattle-based journalist named Tariq Ra’ouf took to social media to explain the logic behind the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have been rocking American cities for months. “We are going to inconvenience every single person who doesn’t give a f**k until they give a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church’s Revolutions

In 1489 the Roman Catholic Church felt, and was, hemmed into a corner of the world. The view from Rome was of Africa and Asia long lost to heretical churches or to Islam, and Europe divided between Catholicism and Orthodoxy (itself seen as heretical), while Ottoman power advanced relentlessly up the . . . . Continue Reading »

Régis Debray, Radical Conservative

Looking back on his time as a Cuban-trained communist revolutionary, the French writer Régis Debray recalled that Chile’s Marxist president used to display on his desk a photo of guerrilla leader Che Guevara, inscribed: “To Salvador Allende, who is headed to the same place by a different . . . . Continue Reading »

The Road to Revolution

The classic theory of revolution was formulated by Alexis de Tocqueville, who observed in The Ancien Régime and the Revolution that “it was precisely in those parts of France where there had been the most improvement that popular discontent ran highest.” Revolution is not generally . . . . Continue Reading »

Red Terror

As American society was roiled this summer by civil unrest, purges, and struggle sessions, I read Frank Dikötter’s The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, a recently published book that is newly relevant. The subtitle is a bit of historiographic trolling. “People’s history” is a . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Louverture

Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Lifeby philippe girardbasic books, 352 pages, $29.99The Virginia planter and Fire-Eater Edmund Ruffin, who in 1865 blew his brains out rather than live under Yankee rule, called Toussaint Louverture “the only truly great man yet known of the negro race.” In . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Russian Revolution

Anyone eager for an inside and in-depth exploration of the New Russian Revolution of August 1991 can thank a watchful Providence that James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress and America’s foremost historian of Russian culture, just happened to be in Moscow on library business when . . . . Continue Reading »

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