A pair of self-styled revolutionaries and their followers plot to overthrow the Tsar and seize control of the government in Dostoyevsky's compelling tale of ideology and murder in 19th-century Russia. Based on a real-life political assassination, the story unfolds in a fictional town in which Stavrogin, a power-hungry cynic, and Pyotr, a radical willing to go to any lengths for his ideals, take charge of a crew of anarchists, nihilists, and other politically minded outsiders. When one of the conspirators faces exposure, the gang's response results in a shocking orgy of bloodshed. Written in 1872, Dostoyevsky's cautionary tale explores the destructive forces of demagoguery and unbridled rhetoric. The novel examines how breakdowns in civil behavior beget violence and chaos, leading ordinary people to commit extraordinary crimes. Fascinating for its character portraits and for its truths about people as political animals, Demons remains highly relevant for modern readers. AUTHOR: With his sympathetic portrayals of the downtrodden of 19th-century Russian society, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) exercised immense influence on modern writers. His novels featured profound philosophical and psychological insights that anticipated the development of psychoanalysis and existentialism.