The Furies:Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions
The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions is a book that examines the effects of counter-revolution, and how it has lead to state terror in the new governments of the First Republic of France, and the Soviet Union.1 It is emphasized that the effects of counter-revolution, especially when it is supported by external military powers, has not been focused enough upon when trying to evaluate what caused the emergence of these terrible furies after their revolutions.
The traumatic events that followed these two world-changing revolutions has been discussed and referenced any time one wishes to analyze and understand the effects of revolution in any given country. During and after Russian Revolutions of 1917, there were many who looked back at the French Revolution with fear that such terror could be carried out throug Russia. While this would happen in Russia (and soon to be Soviet Union), it may not have occurred for the reasons which many have come to believe. This book is important because it analyzes the role counter-revolution had in leading up to the furies, rather than simply focusing on individual personalities such as Robespierre and/or Stalin, which have almost come to be largely accepted in popular culture.
This book attempts to fill a necessary gap when taking perspective on revolution. Mayer argues that counter-revolution is very much a part of European political tradition. There have even been those who have argued that counter-revolution was a myth, and lacked basis in reality. Mayer points out the vast amount of support for the old regimes of these countries, and even points out the fact that during France's Thermadorian period, and during Russia's civil war, there were periods in which the counter-revolutionaries had what would appear an upper hand in their struggle. Basically, when there has been a successful overthrow of old regimes which have...