Cliff Conner's biography is a fresh, welcome look at one of the most complex and fascinating figures of the French Revolution. Marat's tumultuous career has many echoes for our own time, among them raising the question: are human rights merely legal and political, or are they economic as well? (Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost (1999) and Bury the Chains (2006) )
Conner's book not only serves as a gripping introduction to the life of Marat and his role in the French Revolution, but also contains important insights and arguments towards a reappraisal of the role of popular politics and ideology in revolutionary situations. Furthermore it is a timely reminder of the importance and continuing relevance of studying the years 1789-1793 to our own troubled times. (Richard Sheldon, Lecturer in Social and Economic History, University of Bristol )
Cliff Conner’s retelling of Marat’s life first clears away the cobwebs and prejudices and then reveals why we should love and admire this egalitarian revolutionary. Marat was the “Friend of the People” in the 1790s, and still has a message for us today about social, political, and economic equality. ¡Vive Marat! (Lynne Stewart, lawyer )
This short biography, written in an accessible and lively style, presents an activist and journalist from the French Revolution, and rescues him from myths and slanders. It stresses his passion for equality and his defence of the poorest classes in society, drawing out the originality and continuing relevance of an often neglected figure (Ian Birchall, author of The Spectre of Babeuf (1997). )
Cliff Conner's gracefully written and wisely observed biography of Jean Paul Marat tells the truth about this much maligned doctor and hero of the French revolution. Marat's advocacy for and leadership of the Parisian poor is reminiscent of another doctor turned revolutionary, Che Guevara, both timeless symbols in the ongoing struggle for social justice. (Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith, human rights attorneys and authors of Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder. Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. )
About the Author
Clifford D. Conner is on the faculty of the School of Professional Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he teaches history. He has written biographies of two eighteenth-century Irish revolutionaries, Colonel Despard (2000) and Arthur O’Connor (2009). He is also the author of the acclaimed A People’s History of Science (2005) and is on the editorial board of The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest.