January 14, 2016
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v2.1 Reference

Francois Mauriac on Race, War, Politics, and Religion

The Great War Through the 1960s

Edited by Nathan Bracher
Nathan Bracher's François Mauriac on Race, War, Politics, and Religion: The Great War Through the 1960s, consists of a selection of some ninety editorials penned by the Catholic novelist and intellectual François Mauriac, who received the Nobel Prize for literature and who was admitted to the Académie Française in 1933. As is often the case for prominent writers and intellectuals in France, Mauriac became active in political punditry early in his career, at the time of the First World War. Intensifying notably in the tumultuous years of the 1930s on, this activity continues to expand over the next five decades. After 1952, Mauriac's editorials came to represent the most important dimension of his intellectual activity. He was, to cite the prominent journalist and intellectual Jean Daniel of Le Nouvel Observateur, France's most distinguished and formidable editorialist of the twentieth century.

Bracher's book provides for the first time an opportunity for English speaking readers to discover the incisive power, passionate humanity, and historical perspicacity that made his voice one of the most resonant in the French press. Mauriac's public stances on events left nobody indifferent. He was the first to denounce torture in Algeria, and the most eloquent in appealing to the heritage of humanism left by Montaigne and the Sermon on the Mount. The editorials collected here moreover provide a series of striking perspectives on the most dramatic events that France had to confront over the course of the twentieth century, from World War I, to the rise of Fascism and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the various episodes of World War II, on to the Cold War, the strains of decolonization in the 1950s, and the reign of Charles de Gaulle that coexisted with the upheaval of the 1960s. Mauriac's gripping editorials enable the reader to revisit these historical moments from within and through the eyes of a French Catholic intellectual and writer who approaches them with passion, commitment, and remarkable lucidity.

About the Author

Nathan Bracher is professor of French at Texas A&M University. He is author of After the Fall: War and Occupation in Irène Némirovskys Suite Française as well as Through the Past Darkly: History and Memory in François Mauriac's Bloc-Notes (both published by CUA Press).


"Recognized initially since the 1920s as a Catholic intellectual and a novelist whose works explored the psychological complexities of a close-knit bourgeois society, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1952, Mauriac increasingly voiced his views on issues and events that were central not only to France but frequently of permanent significance. The result was several thousand articles, the majority of which were famously entitled bloc-notes and published in Le Figaro, Le Figaro littéraire and L'Express, for which he became justifiably recognized as one of the most influential French polemicists of the mid-twentieth century. For the first time a significant selection of these articles (elegantly translated) has been made available in English, but the result is more than a mere collection with explanatory notes. While each article is produced in its entirety, Bracher carefully contextualizes it with the result that each chapter reads like an independent essay providing a rich commentary on one of the most turbulent periods of recent French history. –"—J. E. Flower, professor emeritus, University of Kent

"This volume fulfills an important need, making available in English a representative selection of Mauriac's insightful, multifaceted, and always gripping observations about events that occurred during a critical period of twentieth-century history. Mauriac's highly individualized essays run a rich gamut always leavened by deep humanity and spirituality, however polemical and controversial the topic, and offer an exceptional means of entering into the spirit of difficult and constantly evolving times from a perspective that is not parochially French but always universal. Bracher's detailed presentations and intelligent analyses are much more than a scholarly accompaniment; indeed, many of them can be read on their own. They are an indispensable complement to finely wrought translations of Mauriac's essays and editorials, guiding the reader on an informative and holistic journey through thirty-two years of turbulent and momentous human events, a journey that cannot fail to stimulate, challenge, and enrich us."—Jean-Pierre Cauvin

"This is a stimulating, informed study of one of France's greatest and most widely read editorialists that will engage its readers with the ethical issues that Mauriac wrestled with, those eternal issues of politics and morality that continue to test, perplex, and agonize us today."

- Patrick Henry, Whitman College, editor of Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis, author of We Only Know Men, both published by CUA Press"—

The Catholic University of America Press

9780813227894 : francois-mauriac-on-race-war-politics-and-religion-bracher
312 Pages
$65.00 USD

Other Titles by Nathan Bracher

After the Fall

Nathan Bracher
Oct 2010 - The Catholic University of America Press
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Through the Past Darkly

Nathan Bracher
Sep 2004 - The Catholic University of America Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback

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