« Mary Pipher: If we wait for the saints, it will be too late | Main | Clara Park on Shakepeare's women »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Raul Cossio

Incorrect. He was referring to the Chinese student riots of 1968. We already know the disaster the French revolution has brought on the Western World.

http://ttrammohan.blogspot.com/2011/06/zhou-enlai-was-misquoted.html
http://ttrammohan.blogspot.com/2011/06/zhou-enlai-was-misquoted.html

Sedulia

To me it seems quite rude to start off a comment with "incorrect." Perhaps you think that's all right. In that case, I will respond: Incorrect. If it is true that he was not referring to the French revolution but was misquoted, it is also not true that he was referring to Chinese student riots, but to (according to the article) French student riots.

However, it is not clear to me from the evidence that he was misquoted, but more that he himself misunderstood the question and therefore answered it incorrectly in this quotable fashion.

Thank you for the link, however! I have tried in vain to find the source of this quotation and even written to Simon Schama about it, so your information is very interesting.

Raul Cossio

Sorry about the abrupt "incorrect". The internet has eroded my manners; not in speech.
I do find that apocryphal quotations abound. I am guilty of it, especially if they does not fit my narrative and a little editing will make it fit. I agree that he likely that he was quoted correctly giving a different question than the one asked. As to "is too soon to say" I think that the French Revolution was a disaster, first for France and then for the rest of the World. I have not read Schama's book. May do so now.

Thanks for posting your thoughts and congratulation on a very interesting blog.

Sedulia

Thanks for your nice note! It's true that it's too easy to be brusque on line. I often tell myself that the really awful offenders are probably 14 years old!

It's such a great quotation. I would be very sad if it never happened.

malcshee

To refer to the French revolution as a disaster is to misunderstand it's unique importance.
For the first time in recorded history a population overthrew an elite who themselves were heirs to thousands of years of complete control over society.
Many of the events during the revolt were unsurprisingly brutal but it's unlikely America would now have a constitution without the social shock delivered to the world in 1789

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

About this site

  • Quotations from my commonplace book. Hope you find something interesting.

Search Quotations

Send to StumbleUpon!