The Dreyfus Affair and the Rise of the French Public Intellectual (Paperback)
  • The Dreyfus Affair and the Rise of the French Public Intellectual (Paperback)
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The Dreyfus Affair and the Rise of the French Public Intellectual (Paperback)

(author)
£58.50
Paperback 280 Pages / Published: 30/05/2014
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By now the basic facts of the Dreyfus Affair are known and beyond dispute. This book condenses a century or more of scholarship but adds significant new knowledge about some of the main figures in the Affair, as well as Dreyfus's heroic struggle for freedom and rehabilitation. It also studies how intellectuals contributed to the Affair and largely defined it and themselves, creating a new class of committed intellectuals who, from time to time, would descend from their Ivory Tower to become involved in something that ""strictly speaking was none of their business"" (Sartre).

This book follows the careers of both Dreyfusard (Lazare, Zola, Peguy) and anti-Dreyfusard (Drumont, Barres) intellectuals, as well as the itineraries of several up-coming-intellectuals such as Gide and Rolland, who, for a variety of reasons, chose not to become involved. Moreover, the Affair is still ""radioactive"" because the issues it raises remain as relevant as ever not only in France but also around the world. As one prominent key player, Charles Peguy, stated several years after Dreyfus had been rehabilitated: ""the longer this affair has been over, the more evident it becomes that it will never be over."" adly, there is no shortage of cases of the justice system breaking down and even running amuck. Past and present abuses in the name of the ""war on terror"" are still waiting for the Emile Zola, not only to denounce them to the nation and to the world but also to create a true debate about our core values as a democracy. Which public intellectual will step up to pen the ""J'Accuse"" of our times? Zola's passionate defence of Dreyfus is legendary and constitutes the moral high point of intellectual commitment in France but also, paradoxically, the beginning of their demise as arbiters of a higher or nobler, that is to say, a more idealistic public ethics. The rehabilitation of Dreyfus constituted a victory for justice, but it also signaled a decline in the moral stature of the committed intellectual. Less than a decade after the rehabilitation of Dreyfus, French intellectuals no longer would command the moral high ground. During World War I, those on both the Left and Right rushed to embrace the war effort without questioning it (the only internationally well-known French intellectual to oppose the war was Rolland). By the 1930s, French intellectuals were more likely to take their cues from Moscow or Berlin and to immediately situate any issue in a much larger ideological and international context.

Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc
ISBN: 9780786478620
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 23 mm

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