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.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Defining Revolution

A fairly recent paper in the History syllabus at Oxford is 'Disciplines of History'. The traditional methodological paper had three essays required to be written in three hours. In new-fangled 'Disciplines', it is two essays in three hours. So deep thought is required!

Usually, for the 'Comparative History' half of the Disciplines Paper, the topic of 'Revolutions' comes up. 'Revolution', of course, lends itself to transnational comparison. Following Perry Anderson's cogent reasoning, but to be honest also with some mind to manageability, I normally recommend to the students that they define 'revolution' as 'punctual': i.e. radical, but limited in time and space, even if the effect is quite diffuse. (Acute revolutions, natch, can succeed or fail to lesser or greater degrees; I'd be a poor Irishperson who refused a nod to the Memory of the Dead). But overall the definition of 'revolution' is up to my extraordinarily fab students. It can be quite non-political and drawn-out. Here's an invaluable guide, for example, to the 'Scientific Revolution'

If students want to look at a long-drawn out process of revolution, 'Industrial', 'Scientific' or whatever, I say, 'go for it, emergent intelligentsia!'. I shall, however, have to pass you over to experts for guidance.

Here's Emma Dougherty, animator extraordinaire, and co-author of video above:

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