Ending the Terror makes accessible for the first time to an English-speaking readership a major revisionist assessment of a crucial moment in the history of the French Revolution. The months that followed the fall of Robespierre in July 1794 mark not just a turning point in the history of the Revolution: "Thermidor" is also a symbolic moment that came to haunt the subsequent revolutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By this date the Terror as a system of power was discredited, and the engineers of the Terror were confronting the problem of how to dismantle it without repudiating the aims of the Revolution itself and its work. Professor Baczko analyzes the Terror in detail through the political history of the French National Assembly, and looks at the broader issues of the political culture of Revolutionary France.
"Baczko is a talented researcher who has consulted a variety of published sources. He has an eye for texts--speeches, pamphlets, newspaper articles, trial reports, diaries, and memoirs--that illustrate exaggerated rumors, impassioned arguments, grotesque images, or violent scenes. ...Baczko's innovative methodology of textual analusis can inspire historians..." French Politics & Society "Petheram's superb translation of Comment sortir de la terreur (Paris, 1989) adheres to the textual format of the original work." C. A. Gliozzo, Choice "...one of the most thoughtful books ever written about the problems of the Thermidorian period..." William Doyle, Times Literary Supplement "This is a book rich in erudition and suggestion, one that calls our attention to a problem as important as the origins of the Terror. Baczko is especially good on the complex, convoluted, and often coded debates of the former Jacobins..." David P. Jordan, American Historical Review