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Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the…
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Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State,… (2014)

by Adam Zamoyski

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1001185,594 (3.54)None
The French Revolution and the blood-curdling violence it engendered terrified the ruling and propertied classes of Europe. Unable to grasp how such horrors could have come about, many concluded that it was the result of a devilish conspiracy hatched by Freemasons inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment with the aim of overthrowing the entire social order, along with the legal and religious principles it stood on. Others traced it back to the Reformation or the Knights Templar and ascribed even more sinister aims to it. Faced by this apparently occult threat, they resorted to repression on an unprecedented scale, expanding police and spy networks in the process. This compelling history, occasionally chilling and often hilarious, tells how the modern state evolved through the expansion of its organs of control, and holds urgent lessons for today.… (more)
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Horrible. The author may be an eminent historian, but this book goes nowhere and proves nothing, except that governments are idiots when it comes to their own security. I have read about 130 pages of this tripe and I am done with it. The problem is that the topic does not lend itself to a normal
historical treatment, and this isn't one. ( )
  annbury | Jun 23, 2015 |
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