Maintaining that the trial and public execution of Louis XVI was an absolutely essential part of the French Revolution, Walzer discusses two types of regicide: the first, committed by would-be kings or their agents, left the monarchy's mystique and divine right intact, while the second was a revolutionary act intended to destroy it completely.
Walzer defends the trial and execution of Louis XVI as necessary, since it not only tried to destroy the monarchy's mystique and divine right, but also required the deputies to fully explain their guiding philosophies and applied the rules of judicial process to establish equality before the law.
New to this edition is an appendix containing "Revolutionary Justice," Ferenc Feher's classic rebuttal to Walzer's thesis, and Walzer's response, "The King's Trial and the Political Culture of the Revolution."
A very provocative essay, fecund with insights into the enduring problems of citizenship, servitude, political responsibility and legislative statesmanship." The New Republic