The last years of the nineteenth century saw the birth of a new phenomenon: international terrorism.
Bombings and assassinations shook the great cities of Europe and America, threatening social order.
Fiendish networks of anarchist conspiritors were blamed and the public whipped into a frenzy of anxiety.
The reality was rather different. These dramatic events were only the most visible part of a longer, clandestine struggle waged between the forces of revolution and reaction, in which little was as it seemed.
Alex Butterworth interweaves group biography, cultural history and meticulous detective work to create a revelatory account of the age.
Both intimate and panoramic, it is a story with uncanny resonances for today.