Books: The Fools of History

ON REVOLUTION (343 pp.)—Hannah Arendt—Viking ($6.50).

It used to be democratic dogma that revolutions were a good thing. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," said Jefferson. But the tree of liberty has fared poorly in the blood baths of this century. The grim example of the Bolshevik and other revolutions has caused political theorists to take a second look at revolutions.

Political Philosopher Hannah Arendt, 56, concludes flatly that, when possible, they should be avoided. Violent change plows under more liberties than...

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