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The way we were: 200th anniversaries

Extracts from memoirs and diaries

By Ian Irvine   November 2012

President Ford and Queen Elizabeth II dance at the American Bicentennial celebrations in 1976

Alexander Cockburn  writes about the bicentenary of the French Revolution:

“‘The prospectus: ‘From 1st April to 15th November in the Tuileries there will be masques, games, spectacles designed to evoke what happened during the revolution, putting the accent on institutional reform, which marked the progress of parliamentary democracy.’ This would have made Saint-Just smile, given his pithy view that ‘long laws are public calamities.’

“The French government seems to have decided to remember a revolution occurring…

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