The French Revolution : A Tale of Terror and Hope for Our Times, Paperback / softback Book

The French Revolution : A Tale of Terror and Hope for Our Times Paperback / softback


This is the story of the French Revolution told from a psychological and group dynamic perspective.

The aim is to throw light on the workings of the revolutionary mind and the emotions at work in society which pave the way towards revolution and war.

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are presented as a couple trapped by the symbolism invested in them, a circumstance that turned them into scapegoats.

The contrasting personalities of the two most controversial leaders of the Revolution Robespierre and Danton provide psychologically informed explanations of their success and failure as leaders.

The group perspective the nature of crowd behaviour and mob violence links to the complex relationship between leaders and groups.

In the Parisian case of 1789 group emotions fear, rage, euphoria and fervour influenced the course of the Revolution.

The assassination of Marat and the struggle to the death between the extremists of the Left and the Moderates is a classic study in group paranoia culminating in a Reign of Terror destined to end in self-destructive violence. The conflict between the Revolution and the Church as an expression of belief in an ideal society led to a battle for the minds of a people facing two incompatible ideologies.

The French Revolution was an important milestone in western social and political development.

It carried within itself the seeds of a humane society, but turned into murder and execution.

The dichotomies arising echo down the generations. The same split in our thinking applies to how we view todays social upheavals and conflicts conflicts of opposing mythologies with their psychological overtones interpreted as political doctrines as evinced currently in Russias territorial claims to Eastern Ukraine, Islamic fundamentalist wars, and the IsraeliPalestinian conflict.

Hope lies in the application of therapeutic principles garnered from the field of group dynamics.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9781845197032



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