My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.

This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism.
Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.

The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]

However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.

This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.

You can see book details at the
OUP website.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Here's the Blurb to the New Book

The bourgeoisie, wrote Heinrich Heine in 1842, was ‘obsessed by a nightmare apprehension of disaster’. An ‘instinctive dread of communism’ sapped bourgeois commitment to liberal freedoms. Theirs was a ‘politics motivated by fear’.

Over the next 150 years, the middle classes were repeatedly condemned by the Left as betrayers of liberty. For fear of the masses, the bourgeoisie colluded with the strong-armed state. Failure of the liberal revolutions in 1848, the rise of authoritarian nationalism from the 1860s, fascist victories in the first half of the twentieth-century, and brutal repression of national liberation movements throughout the Cold War – all these fateful disasters the Left blamed squarely on bourgeois timidity and treachery. For their part, conservatives accused the insidious Left. They insisted that leftist demagogues and fanatics exploited the desperation of the poor to subvert liberal revolutions, leading to anarchy and tyranny.

With the collapse of Communism, bourgeois liberty once again became a crusading force. The armed forces of NATO became instruments of ‘regime change’, seeking to destroy dictatorship and to build free-market democracies. President George W. Bush boasted the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as a ‘watershed event in the global democratic revolution’. Neoconservatives hailed the bourgeoisie as the truly universal class which, in emancipating itself, emancipates all society. Such middle class triumphalism was not to last. The debacle in Iraq and the Great Recession from 2008 revealed all too clearly that hubris still invites nemesis.

Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear uncovers this remarkable story, and the fierce debates it occasioned. It takes in a span from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, covering a wide range of countries and thinkers. Strikingly original, and broad in its scope, it presents a clear set of arguments that shed new light on the creation of our modern world.

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