The result of years of personal explorations in the byways of the French Revolution, this amazing book by the biographer of DuBarry should stand as the single definitive account of the 13 blood-drenched months of French history known as ""The Terror"". Although the Revolution, sparked by the half-baked theories of Rousseau, broke out in July, 1789, the Terror did not start until June, 1793, when the gutter-journalist Marat and his mob of Paris cutthroats evicted 22 elected members of the Assembly, and three months later organized the appalling ""September Massacres"". From this bloodbath three leaders emerged: Danton, the brilliant and unscrupulous patriot; his rival, Robespierre, a merciless and humorless ""male spinster""; and the diseased and terrible Marat, whose murder by Charlotte Corday left Danton and Robespierre in a struggle for power which ended in Danton's execution. For 16 weeks after Danton's death Robespierre ruled Paris by fear and blood in the ""Great Terror"": to be accused meant death and the guillotine worked ceaselessly; with his overthrow, on July 27, 1794, the Terror ended and 8000 prisoners were saved from death. Tying his narrative to biographies of the actors in the drama, the author writes of leaders and of others: the dedicated and charming Charlotte Corday; Hebert the rabble-rouser, who died screaming; Mme. Roland, whose meddlings brought her and many others to the guillotine; the bloodthirsty and incredible St. Just, Robespierre's disciple; his spy, Fouche, who engineered his downfall and lived to ruin Napoleon. Written with the skill of a novelist and the accuracy of a trained reporter, this long, fascinating book is full of the courage and corruption, devotion and betrayal, and life and death which stained one of the most highly dramatic periods in history. A wide audience seems indicated.