The long government service of Francois Boissy d'Anglas from 1789 to 1826 is unique, and his abundant writing provides a new look at the great drama of the French Revolution era. A moderate politician who served during the Revolution, the Empire, and the Restoration, Boissy d'Anglas's political views remained consistent during several critical periods when the fate of France was at stake. His political philosophy, based firmly on religious tolerance, freedom of expression, strong constitutional government and equality before the law, made it possible for him to weather the revolutionary storm and retain positions of influence in each of the regimes during the period. This book sheds new light on the role of moderates in the French Revolution and illuminates the changing political currents of the Revolution from Boissy's moderate perspective. A political moderate during a period of extremes, Boissy served for so long because he was committed to ideals, rather than to groups. Yet, during several periods in his career, Boissy also placed himself in danger by acting on his ideals. He held political beliefs that were both appropriate to his time and effective in application. He made many enemies, but the greatest testament to Boissy's life was the constant call of the French people for him to serve.
JOHN R. BALLARD is is Professor of Joint Military Operations at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His previous work includes Upholding Democracy: the United States Military Campaign in Haiti, 1994-1997 (Praeger, 1998).