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Race, Revolution, and Robespierre

A review of The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo.

David Forsmark


December 8, 2012 - 7:00 am
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Dumas later wrote an account of his imprisonment that would form the basis for his son’s celebrated novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

The Nazis destroyed the statue of the Black Count during World War II, leaving no current monument in France to one of its great heroes. In an ironic and bitter denouement, Reiss notes that a determined historian attempted to create a new memorial for Dumas, but the effort was hijacked in the spirit of racial political correctness and devolved into a monument for all French slaves. What was to have been a celebration of great valor became a tribute to victimhood in the form of a giant pair of shackles.

Once again, French radicals denied Alex Dumas his rightful glory.

The Black Count is a fascinating and compelling read, though not as novelistic as many recent bestselling historical biographies. A meticulous researcher and historian, Reiss takes far less literary license than has become the norm. This leaves his subject still shrouded in mystery and somewhat remote.
However, history buffs will devour this unique look at a turbulent and violent time in European history, and its lessons about radicals and revolution still apply today.

French elites chose to remember Alex Dumas not for his valor, but for his victimhood status.

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The author is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan.  An award-winning book and movie critic for 20 years, he has been a regular columnist for national conservative publications since 2006. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Forest of Assassins, a novel based on the still classified true story of SEAL operations and the start of the Vietnam War.  His latest novel is China Bones, a romantic war story about a Marine in Shanghai from the Sino-Japanese war, through WWII and the fall of China to the Communists.
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