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A clear and fast-paced account of how and why the French Revolution descended into the Terror
Ian Davidson worked for the Financial Times for many years, as Paris correspondent and as chief foreign affairs columnist. He studied English and Classics at Cambridge University, before being awarded the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard and later becoming Visiting Fellow at the School for Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Based in London, he is author of Voltaire in Exile (2004) and Voltaire: A Life (Profile, 2010 - 9781846682322).
Exemplary ... enough blood on the pages to make sure that we are kept enthralled * Prospect * Marvellous stuff and an indication of the perennially absorbing nature of the revolution. Davidson's book is a worthy addition to the canon. * Spectator * Terse, tightly written ... allows certain critical aspects of the Revolution to stand out in a way that doesn't usually happen. -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * On page after page, there are jolts and surprises, reminders and revelations. ... Lively, engaging ... a compelling single-volume history for the general reader. Recommended. * Irish Examiner * Written with authority, clarity and journalistic immediacy * The Catholic Herald * Praise for Voltaire: A Life A compelling read ... an insightful and entertaining picture of the man * Guardian * Davidson is a fastidious debunker of myths and restorer of balance. He tells his story from beginning to end, one year after the next, with an elegant lucidity -- Sam Leith * Spectator * There is no shortage of biographies of Voltaire ... but this is one of the best of them. -- Andrew Hussey * Financial Times * Written in the crisp, incisive prose of a practised journalist... his research is impressive ... [a] refreshing book which isn't afraid, occasionally, to draw its own conclusions against the grain of what has been written before * Independent on Sunday * Splendidly readable ... This is an entertaining and enlightening account of why Voltaire still matters -- Bee Wilson * Sunday Times * Voltaire can be a rather daunting figure, but emerges in very human colours in this excellent biography, which makes splendid use of the philosopher's letters * Sunday Telegraph *