John Merriman's monograph, The Dynamite Club. How a Bombing in Fin-de-Sicle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror - Book Report/Review Example

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The Dynamite Club: A Book Analysis Aminata Bash-Taqi Marymount University Word count: 970 November 13, 2013 THE AUTHOR: In his book, “The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in the Fin-De-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of the Modern Terror,” John M. Merriman displays his rich knowledge in history and writing prowess…
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John Merrimans monograph, The Dynamite Club. How a Bombing in Fin-de-Sicle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror
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"John Merriman's monograph, The Dynamite Club. How a Bombing in Fin-de-Sicle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror"

John Merriman obtained both his PhD and B.A. from the University of Michigan. Merriman is also recognized as a social and political activist and is known for his political views of the Vietnamese wars. Basing his major writings about France, Merriman combines modern history with past European history, particularly French history and the French revolutions in the late 1870s and 1890s. THE SUMMARY: The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in the Fin-De-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of the Modern Terror is about the thrilling accounts of Henry Emilie with his cohorts, and the war that anarchism caused against the bourgeoisie, and finally assassinating president McKinley in 19011. The book covers the rise of French anarchism in the periods between 1871 and 1894, also known as the Paris Commune and the Execution era. Initially described as a sympathetic, young and well- behaved scholar, Henry Emilie becomes motivated through the senses of social injustices, unemployment, hunger, bureaucracies, among others, to become the center core of the terror attacks at the terminal cafe and police station2. In the book, Merriman illustrates in a skillful manner how the social alienation in that society, and therefore today’s society, triggered the rise and expansion of extremist ideas and acts3. THE SOURCES: The author uses mostly secondary sources like scholarly works. Merriman also uses works of fiction, historical records of French anarchism, French anarchism articles, and French newspapers to some limited extents (Merriman, 1996). The French historical archives are also some of the sources from which the author constructed his writing. Mostly basing his arguments and stories from his rich knowledge about the 19th century France4, Merriman manages to draw a comparative analysis of the ancient and the modern world through writing. The sources of Merriman’s work in this book are well- researched historical information on terrorism and political dynamism. The book is complemented by other historic sources on terrorism, archives, and well-researched books as well as matched and wonderfully lucid writing styles that bring forth the historical figures to reality. Through these sources, and the early anarchical French history, Merriman’s book is a search portrait of the violence and tensions that rocked the popular fin-de-siecle in France and in doing so, foresaw the terrorist acts of today. THESIS: In the Dynamite Club, Merriman argues that the social and economic inequalities coupled with rapid technological changes that occurred in the 19th century, particularly in Europe, which led to many taking the law into their own hands, were mere reflections of 21st century events. The anarchists actions of the ancient revolutionary French period pointed the modern socio-economic and political differences that have created global competitions and lawlessness. THE EVIDENCE - PRESENTATION: In the first chapter of the book, “Light and Shadows in the Capital of Europe,” Merriman (p 7-9) argues that Emperor Napoleon III had, very early in the second empire of France between 1952-70, intended to maintain the monarch system authority against the liberal nationalists and the socialist movements. The period was then coupled with rebellious syndrome, a situation that made Paris the centre of revolution5. The second chapter of the book, “The Exile’s Second Son” (p 25-49) has a comprehensive story of Henry Emilie’ Read More
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