$25.18 New In stock Publisher: St. Martins Press-3PL
SKU: DADAX0312572980
ISBN : 9780312572983
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National Jewish Book Awards WinnerIn 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was wrongfully convicted of being a spy for Germany and was imprisoned on Devil's Island. Oxford historian Ruth Harris presents the scandal of the century in all its human complexity. Drawing on private letters and thousands of previously unconsidered sources, Harris offers a definitive account of the tragic drama that divided French society and stunned the world. Sweeping and engaging, Harris's retelling of the Dreyfus Affair extricates it from the myths of both the left and the right, offering a new understanding of one of the most significant episodes in modern history.Review?It is the goal of the Oxford historian Ruth Harris to extricate the Dreyfus Affair from the myths it has generated, on both the left and the right, and to trace its tortuous evolution from 1894 to 1906 in all of its human complexity. Combining an even-tempered tone with generosity of imagination, she has achieved that goal? Harris's excellent Dreyfus deserves a wide audience for its patient, fair-minded exploration of human ideals, delusions, prejudices, hatreds and follies.? ?Leo Damrosch, The New York Times Book Review?Scrupulous and well-written? Ruth Harris's rather beautiful and complex study is a conscious attempt to add, or better say restore, the layers of ambiguity that are lost if we accept the almost classical model of confrontation between darkness and enlightenment. It's not that she is, in any usual sense, a revisionist. Indeed, her restatement of the essential and unarguable point--the complete innocence of Captain Alfred Dreyfus--could scarcely be bettered? In some ways, then, Harris's narrative actually enhances the traditional picture of good triumphing over injustice, with the French secular left wearing the white hat. But she expertly identifies the exceptions.? Harris is to be thanked for the care and measure of her sifting and weighing, and for the deep historical perspective that she brings to the undertaking.? ?Christopher Hitchens, The Weekly Standard?An extraordinary study of the affair as a tragic drama that swept up a man, his family and friends, and more widely French society and the French state? The strength of Ruth Harris's book is to present the Dreyfus Affair as a human and social drama. Whereas many accounts concentrate on the conspiratorial and public dimensions of the debate, Harris--who has read thousands of the private letters of those involved--moves easily between the public and the private, the intellectual and the emotional? She demonstrates that the Dreyfusards were not all apostles of the Enlightenment; neither were all anti-Dreyfusards benighted traditionalists.? ?Robert Gildea, The New York Review of Books?Harris has uncovered a wealth of new documents, and she tells her story to satisfy those with an appetite for rich historical detail.? Simple dichotomies make for dangerous politics and for dubious histories. This balanced and thoughtful account of Dreyfus is a compelling reminder of the complexity and pathos of the past.? ?Michael S. Roth, The San Francisco Chronicle?Ruth Harris's meticulous, assured, and engrossing account of the Dreyfus Affair calls to mind none of the many books on the subject? Harris has produced a history sensitive to historical limits. She unravels decisions made in the swirl of experience, fraught with contradiction, accident, and incoherence and governed by emotion as much as reason, by prejudice as much as principle.? Harris's eye for the vivid detail gracefully complements her analytical rigor and is one reason her book is a pleasure to read.? ?John Palattella, The Nation?Excellent? A thorough work of scholarship with a firm sense of its own place in the historiography? A carefully crafted intellectual history of fin-de-si

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