Francois Mauriac on Race, War, Politics, and Religion
The Great War Through the 1960s
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
"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"—
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