Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789-1848

Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789-1848

by Adam Zamoyski


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For the ruling and propertied classes of the late eighteenth century, the years following the French Revolution were characterized by intense anxiety. Monarchs and their courtiers lived in constant fear of rebellion, convinced that their power-and their heads-were at risk. Driven by paranoia, they chose to fight back against every threat and insurgency, whether real or merely perceived, repressing their populaces through surveillance networks and violent, secretive police action. Europe, and the world, had entered a new era.

In Phantom Terror, award-winning historian Adam Zamoyski argues that the stringent measures designed to prevent unrest had disastrous and far-reaching consequences, inciting the very rebellions they had hoped to quash. The newly established culture of state control halted economic development in Austria and birthed a rebellious youth culture in Russia that would require even harsher methods to suppress. By the end of the era, the first stirrings of terrorist movements had become evident across the continent, making the previously unfounded fears of European monarchs a reality.

Phantom Terror explores this troubled, fascinating period, when politicians and cultural leaders from Edmund Burke to Mary Shelley were forced to choose sides and either support or resist the counterrevolutionary spirit embodied in the newly-omnipotent central states. The turbulent political situation that coalesced during this era would lead directly to the revolutions of 1848 and to the collapse of order in World War I. We still live with the legacy of this era of paranoia, which prefigured not only the modern totalitarian state but also the now preeminent contest between society's haves and have nots.

These tempestuous years of suspicion and suppression were the crux upon which the rest of European history would turn. In this magisterial history, Zamoyski chronicles the moment when desperate monarchs took the world down the path of revolution, terror, and world war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465039890
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Pages: 592
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Adam Zamoyski is an award-winning author of numerous books about Poland, Napoleon, and 19th century Europe. A contributor to the Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Guardian, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Royal Society of Literature, Zamoyski lives in London.

Table of Contents

1. Exorcism
2. Fear
3. Contagion
4. War on Terror
5. Government by Alarm
6. Order
7. Peace
8. A Hundred Days
9. Intelligence
10. British Bogies
11. Moral Order
12. Mysticism
13. Teutomania
14. Suicide Terrorists
15. Corrosion
16. The Empire of Evil
17. Synagogues of Satan
18. Comité Directeur
19. The Duke of Texas
20. The Apostolate
21. Mutiny
22. Cleansing
23. Counter-Revolution
24. Jupiter Tonans
25. Scandals
26. Sewers
27. The China of Europe
28. A Mistake
29. Polonism
30. Satan on the Loose

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