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Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall


  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Revolutionary Disillusionment, from 1789 to 2013

    Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

    Disillusionment is a time-honored revolutionary tradition. True believers risk their lives launching a revolution, only to see their ideals abandoned by others -- or, worse, to watch the former government return.

  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    Revolutionary Situations are Inherently Messy

    Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

    Social scientists who study revolutions and other historical processes generally look for patterns and similarities. Historians, by contrast, have traditionally focused on factors that are specific to each situation, in each time and in each place. They seek to understand the particularities of each situation, rather than generalize about commonalities.Like most historians, I tend to analyze events based on particular historical contexts. And yet, after twenty-five years of studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century revolutions (and watching new ones erupt in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries), I cannot help but notice certain patterns that recur in almost all revolutionary situations.