The Lives of Talleyrand PDF Ø The Lives Kindle -

The Lives of Talleyrand PDF Ø The Lives Kindle -

The Lives of Talleyrand ❰Ebook❯ ➣ The Lives of Talleyrand Author Crane Brinton – The Lives of Talleyrand is a study of the character and actions of the man who so profoundly influenced the destiny of the French Revolution and helped to shape the contours of all Europe as well The The Lives of Talleyrand is a study of the character and actions of the man who so profoundly influenced the destiny of the French Revolution and helped to shape the contours of all Europe as well The reuisite historical background is of course given but it is the many faceted personality The Lives Kindle - of Talleyrand which the author has made it his task to portray and he has done so with discrimination and wit.

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • The Lives of Talleyrand
  • Crane Brinton
  • English
  • 24 October 2014
  • 9780393001884

3 thoughts on “The Lives of Talleyrand

  1. Lucas Lucas says:

    Charles de Talleyrand Perigord was a man who wore many different coats in his lifetime He was a bishop a participant in revolutionary France an exile during the days of The Terror in the country Bonapartist Royalist but above all a diplomat The Prince of Diplomats as he came to be known is a man that remains unknown to most reviled by some and intriguing to an even smaller few How can one man work for so many very different factions during the most turbulant periods of France's and Europe's history? This is what The Lives of Talleyrand proceeds to explainI'll admit before I started reading this book I had the impression a lot of people had of the man that he was a sneaking conniving man that managed to play the different groups that were competing against each other and make a fat wad of cash from it in the process I learned that while some of my initial belief was true he was always happy to take a bribe from representatives of other countries but it was a pretty common practice at the time so it wasn't that unusual the actual man was far complicated than thatThis book proceeds to illustrate that Talleyrand was a man with a skeptical bent and never held one abstract ideal as The Truth and The Way At most he was a man that loved his country loved Europe loved peace because then he could relax and have a good time and he had a deep understanding of human nature and what it took to get people on his sideIf there is one thing I took away from this book it is that Talleyrand understood that people's beliefs can determine their actions even if they live their lives not wholly in conjuction with these beliefs If you stroke a person's ego and offer a little bit of compensation you can go far in getting that person on your side and Talleyrand was a genius when it came to this Crane Brinton gives us the picture of a man who lived a balanced life distrustful of prophets shouting from the mountaintops a way of living that was noble and good a way of living wholly impossible for anybody to actually live up to He left during the French Revolution because the leaders thought they could make a new better virtuous France filled with good citizens and good people where everyone was eual nobody was jealous of anyone else and anybody that wasn't like that could face the guillotine He later came back and cultivated the rise of Napoleon becoming the Little General's foreign minister But he would begin to work against Bonaparte at his very peak of power Napoleon had crushed Austria utterly Russia was friendly towards France the only nation left in Europe that was still at war with them was England and that was at a stalemate Why would Talleyrand turn at this glorious time? Simply put he didn't think Napoleon was a god Talleyrand beseeched Napoleon to make a magnanimous peace treaty with the Austrians But Bonaparte wouldn't listen; he wanted to humiliate Austria and continue to make all of Europe a French state This was an impossible state of affairs that could only lead to war death and destruction His last act as an official of Napoleonic France was to secretly convince Czar Alexander of Russia that an alliance with France would be a huge mistake Soon after Napoleon stripped Talleyrand of his station and not long after that Europe united and stripped Napoleon of his countryTalleyrand's life is filled with many examples of such maneuvering A large portion of the book is spent trying to examine why exactly a man who spent his years working for the glory and peace of one country should gain a reputation as a sneaking opportunistic man whom if he had a moustache you could imagine him stroking and cackling with gleeWhile the book is ostensibly a biography it is almost just as much a defense of the philosphy of Talleyrand The argument is that so much of his bad reputation is in large part due to our Victorian heritage Simply because he refused to fall on the sword for some abstract truth that didn't work in the real world and could use other men's own beliefs in these truths to manipulate them in perfect Machiavellian style he was painted as a bad man His womanizing and willingness to take bribes and not feel bad about it were just icing on the cake Yet the world is filled with womanizers and corrupt politicians who take donations from interested parties The author argues that Talleyrand was a liberal man interested in peace though by no means a pacifist because it allowed himself and others to live their lives to work make money and follow the pursuits that interested them He understood the balances of the world Governments need to lie a little bit to keep people happy otherwise they have to use force to keep them pacified If you can make symbolic acts that were ultimately meaningless but could pacify an enemy then by all means do it A government built on truth and virtue is impossible because man is in some part deceitful and unvirtuous What is utopia for one is dystopia for another Egos have to be stroked or else chaos ensuesThis book has given me a lot of things I didn't think I would sit around mulling over after reading a biography on a historical villain I've learned a lot about a man and even so about the workings of politics and government I'm left asking the uestion Is it better to have a leader that lies for the purpose of peace or one that is good with high ideals who leads us into foolish unwinnable wars? I know what my answer is

  2. Robert Gebhardt Robert Gebhardt says:

    I picked this up at a used bookstore in Georgia It's a uniue book not least because it was written in 1936 and it's interesting to see how the style of biographies seems to have changed since then All in all much of this book sounds to me very subjective opinionated he even writes at one point no one wants to read objective biographies and meandering it goes on many tangents Some of this especially when the author tries to show how people throughout the years have been misinterpreting Talleyrand as well as the final two chapters gets sort of tedious I also noticed a lack of footnotes or sources which we seem to care about these days I guess To be fair there is a bibliography but it would be close to impossible to match the sources to the passages in the book itself The bulk of the book itself however is uite informative Talleyrand is a very interesting man and the author did an excellent job of portraying him You could probably skip the first and last two chapters though Interesting point The author kept euating France's defeat in 1814 to Germany's in 1918 wondering why the terms were so lenient for the former while so harsh for the latter including suggesting that it was due to democracy the leaders at Versailles had to answer to parliamentary and congressional pressure I found that an interesting take Interesting uote One way principles may lead to Heaven or to the scaffold perhaps to Heaven by means of the scaffold but not to diplomatic victories p216

  3. Tarah Luke Tarah Luke says:

    This was an excellent biography of Talleyrand A man seemingly without morals or principles Brinton manages to make him sound almost like a good person who lived by his own personal moral compass Fascinating

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