The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror
From an award-winning Yale historian, the fascinating story of a long-forgotten "war on terror" that has much in common with our own On a February ... Show synopsis From an award-winning Yale historian, the fascinating story of a long-forgotten "war on terror" that has much in common with our own On a February evening in 1894, a young radical intellectual named Emile Henry drank two beers at an upscale Parisian restaurant, then left behind a bomb as a parting gift. This incident, which rocked the French capital, lies at the heart of The Dynamite Club, a mesmerizing account of Henry and his cohorts and the war they waged against the bourgeoisie-- setting off bombs in public places, killing the president of France, and eventually assassinating President McKinley in 1900. Paris in the belle epoque was a place of leisure, elegance, and power.Newly electrified, the city's wide boulevards were lined with posh department stores and outdoor cafes. But prosperity was limited to a few.Most lived in dire poverty, and workers and intellectuals found common cause in a political philosophy--anarchism--that embraced the overthrow of the state by any means necessary. Yet in targeting civilians to achieve their ends, the dynamite bombers charted a new course. Seeking martyrdom, believing fervently in their goal, and provoking a massive government reaction that only increased their ranks, these "evildoers" became, in effect, the first terrorists in modern history. Surprising and provocative, The Dynamite Club is a brilliantly researched account that illuminates a period of dramatic social and political change--and subtly asks us to reflect upon our own.