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In the speech he gave upon accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Albert Camus said that a writer "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it." And in these twenty-three political essays, he demonstrates his commitment to history's victims, from the fallen maquis of the French Resistance to the casualties of the Cold War In the speech he gave upon accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Albert Camus said that a writer "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it." And in these twenty-three political essays, he demonstrates his commitment to history's victims, from the fallen maquis of the French Resistance to the casualties of the Cold War. Resistance, Rebellion and Death displays Camus's rigorous moral intelligence addressing issues that range from colonial warfare in Algeria to the social cancer of capital punishment. But this stirring book is above all a reflection on the problem of freedom, and, as such, belongs in the same tradition as the works that gave Camus his reputation as the conscience of our century: The Stranger, The Rebel and The Myth of Sisyphus.


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In the speech he gave upon accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Albert Camus said that a writer "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it." And in these twenty-three political essays, he demonstrates his commitment to history's victims, from the fallen maquis of the French Resistance to the casualties of the Cold War In the speech he gave upon accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Albert Camus said that a writer "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve those who are subject to it." And in these twenty-three political essays, he demonstrates his commitment to history's victims, from the fallen maquis of the French Resistance to the casualties of the Cold War. Resistance, Rebellion and Death displays Camus's rigorous moral intelligence addressing issues that range from colonial warfare in Algeria to the social cancer of capital punishment. But this stirring book is above all a reflection on the problem of freedom, and, as such, belongs in the same tradition as the works that gave Camus his reputation as the conscience of our century: The Stranger, The Rebel and The Myth of Sisyphus.

30 review for Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Albert Camus is one of the great consciences of the 20th century, along with Adam Michnik of Poland, Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn of Russia. The essays in Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays come from the 1940s and 1950s. The subjects dealt with include Nazism, Hungary (1956), capital punishment, Algeria, and the moral responsibility of the writer. The more I read of Camus, the more I admire him -- as a writer, as a philosopher, and as a political thinker. When Albert Camus is one of the great consciences of the 20th century, along with Adam Michnik of Poland, Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn of Russia. The essays in Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays come from the 1940s and 1950s. The subjects dealt with include Nazism, Hungary (1956), capital punishment, Algeria, and the moral responsibility of the writer. The more I read of Camus, the more I admire him -- as a writer, as a philosopher, and as a political thinker. When he died in that 1960 car crash, we lost someone we badly needed in this era of moral ambiguity.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    "...But I merely wanted to express that anguish I feel every day when faced with the decrease of liberal energies, the prostituting of words, the slandered victims, the smug justification of oppression, the insane admiration of force. We see a multiplication of those minds of whom it has been said that they seemed to count an inclination towards slavery as an ingredient of virtue. We see the intelligence seeking justifications for its fear, and finding them readily, for every cowardice has its o "...But I merely wanted to express that anguish I feel every day when faced with the decrease of liberal energies, the prostituting of words, the slandered victims, the smug justification of oppression, the insane admiration of force. We see a multiplication of those minds of whom it has been said that they seemed to count an inclination towards slavery as an ingredient of virtue. We see the intelligence seeking justifications for its fear, and finding them readily, for every cowardice has its own philosophy. Indignation is measured, silences take counsel from one another, and history has ceased to be anything but Noah's cloak that is spread over the victims' obscenity. In short, all flee real responsibility, the effort of being consistent or having an opinion of one's own, in order to take refuge in the parties or groups that will think for them, express their anger for them, and make their plans for them. Contemporary intelligence seems to measure the truth of doctrines and causes solely by the number of armored divisions on the field. Thenceforth everything is good that justifies the slaughter of freedom, whether it be the nation, the people, or the grandeur of the State. The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience..." Favorite Quote: The world I live in is loathsome to me, but I feel one with the men who suffer in it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jade Lopert

    I find it incredibly depressing that certain books are out of print and somewhat difficult to find. This is one of them. This is one of those books whose relevance is not constrained to the time it was written in. Change the names of the countries and people and it could have been written for today. I genuinely believe everyone should read this who cares about the world around them and what's going on in it. It also does a fantastic job of fleshing out much of Camus' philosophies that are covered I find it incredibly depressing that certain books are out of print and somewhat difficult to find. This is one of them. This is one of those books whose relevance is not constrained to the time it was written in. Change the names of the countries and people and it could have been written for today. I genuinely believe everyone should read this who cares about the world around them and what's going on in it. It also does a fantastic job of fleshing out much of Camus' philosophies that are covered in his novels in a much more direct way since it takes the fictional aspect out of them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    The last time I saw him was in Paris in the spring of 1944. We were never closer to each other than during that last meeting. We had met in a restaurant in Rue Saint-Benoît, and afterward, walking along the quais in beautiful weather, we had spoken at length of the future. We were in such deep agreement that for the first time I felt an absolute confidence in the future of our country. Camus writes here of the last time he saw his friend Rene Leynaud who was later murdered by the Nazis. Camus is o The last time I saw him was in Paris in the spring of 1944. We were never closer to each other than during that last meeting. We had met in a restaurant in Rue Saint-Benoît, and afterward, walking along the quais in beautiful weather, we had spoken at length of the future. We were in such deep agreement that for the first time I felt an absolute confidence in the future of our country. Camus writes here of the last time he saw his friend Rene Leynaud who was later murdered by the Nazis. Camus is one of my favorite authors. There are many well written passages in this collection too. Most of Camus’ essays are on resistance. It should be noted that many of the essays seem quite dated. Writing about Algeria, Spain and Hungary in the early ‘50s is a little hard for me to place contextually. But other essays feel like they could be written about our current Trump dystopia. Here are some passages including this part of a letter that Camus sent to a German friend who joined the Nazi party. It was was sent shortly before the liberation of Paris in 1944. The dawn about to break will mark your final defeat. I know that heaven, which was indifferent to your horrible victories, will be equally indifferent to your just defeat. Even now I expect nothing from heaven. But we shall at least have helped save man from the solitude to which you wanted to relegate him. Because you scorned such faith in mankind, you are the men who, by thousands, are going to die solitary. Now, I can say farewell to you. or his essay arguing against the guillotine If fear of death is, indeed, a fact, another fact is that such fear, however great it may be, has never sufficed to quell human passions. Bacon is right in saying that there is no passion so weak that it cannot confront and overpower fear of death. Revenge, love, honor, pain, another fear manage to overcome it. How could cupidity, hatred, jealousy fail to do what love of a person or a country, what a passion for freedom manage to do? For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. If you like Camus or like humanist writing you will appreciate this book. 4 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    A tour de force. One man, both artist and philosopher, tackling the great dilemmas and ideas of his time, with thought that is clean, bristling with energy and timeless. A superb collection of essays concerning topics from the French Resistance in WWII, racism and strife in French-Arab Algeria, the death penalty and the philosophy of art.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Shoemake

    I've always had conflicting feelings about Camus. He is a naive political writer; but I have always felt uncomfortable with my judgment of this naivetè. There are times when I suspect he had, in his reading of the world, reached a higher naiveté, the naiveté of wise men and the thinking faithful -- that he truly did understand more sophisticated views, but also saw them for what they truly were: sophistical. There are a great many moments that reinforce this feeling. When, for example, moral ques I've always had conflicting feelings about Camus. He is a naive political writer; but I have always felt uncomfortable with my judgment of this naivetè. There are times when I suspect he had, in his reading of the world, reached a higher naiveté, the naiveté of wise men and the thinking faithful -- that he truly did understand more sophisticated views, but also saw them for what they truly were: sophistical. There are a great many moments that reinforce this feeling. When, for example, moral questions brought about by recent events (shootings, bombings, the disaster that is our climate—that is, the usual, tired suspects) impress themselves upon you, when the world presents itself in its starkest, least subtle terms, it can be tremendously helpful to be reminded that the search for subtlety and nuance (the most recent instances of which might be the innumerable pieces being printed by Eggers, Saunders, and many others on the humanity of a certain sect of racist conservatives, as though this were some great secret, as if a sin could belong to anything but a human) is often more akin to navel-gazing than truth-seeking. Still, I do not enjoy the essays in this book, and most days I find myself thinking Camus really was just naive in the common sense of the term. If the essays are edifying, they are more so as tools and reminders than as exemplars of thought or essais, in Montaigne's sense, into unknown moral, intellectual, or humanistic waters. These are not subtle or interesting pieces. They probe nothing, and deal with absolutes, rather than dilemmas. Therefore I cannot give the book a full-hearted recommendation. But I would like to, and that should say something in its favor. It is a strange thing, to find yourself at once believing that a writer and his work have been tremendously important to you and your moral development, if only due to the thousand accidents of biography, and at the same time to understand that if you came upon him for the first time now, you would never give him a second glance. People often talk about coming to books too early to appreciate them; but what about coming too late? Happily, I found him at just the right time; and for this reason I wouldn't warn anyone away. Perhaps it is the right time for you, too. Come in, there are riches here. Just make sure you find the first course to your liking before you decide to stay.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shaimaa Ali

    These are several essays written by Camus covering lots of Political, social, artistic topics. I got to touch the artistic & noble side of him in so many paragraphs as per my excerpts below, however I loathed his articles about Algeria as I couldn't understand his point of view. Freedom should be the same for all nations, not to be seek when the Oppressor is France for God's sake! * Man is that force which ultimately cancels all tyrants and gods. * And we, who call ourselves defenders of the spir These are several essays written by Camus covering lots of Political, social, artistic topics. I got to touch the artistic & noble side of him in so many paragraphs as per my excerpts below, however I loathed his articles about Algeria as I couldn't understand his point of view. Freedom should be the same for all nations, not to be seek when the Oppressor is France for God's sake! * Man is that force which ultimately cancels all tyrants and gods. * And we, who call ourselves defenders of the spirit, know nevertheless that the spirit can die when the force crushing it is great enough. * I, on the contrary, chose justice in order to remain faithful to the world. I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know that something in it has a meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one. * If someone takes away your bread, he suppresses your freedom at the same time. But if someone takes away your freedom, you may be sure that your bread is threatened, for it depends no longer on your and your struggle but on the whim of a master. * For it was not a learned professor but a Budapest blacksmith who wrote: "I want to be considered an adult eager to think and capable of thought. I want to be able to express my thoughts without having anything to fear and I want, also, to be listened to" * And the truth , as I see it at least, is that the artist is groping his way in the dark, just like the man in the street - incapable himself from the world's misfortune and passionately longing for solitude and silence, dreaming of justice, yet being himself a source of injustice; dragged - even though he thinks he is driving it - behind a chariot that is bigger than he.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    This is a collection of articles Camus wrote between 1939-1958, concerning the siuation in French Algeria.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Henry Martin

    My wife surprised me with this book this morning - a gift. Will be reading it soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Peak

    Worth reading just for "Reflections on the Guillotine," which is perhaps the single most persuasive argument against capital punishment I have ever read. Worth reading just for "Reflections on the Guillotine," which is perhaps the single most persuasive argument against capital punishment I have ever read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    andy

    I’m not good at giving stars to books. In the beginning, if I really liked a book I’d give four or five stars, but to this day I don’t know what that means. Then I decided to leave it to the instinct when in the last page of the book. But even if I accept my relativism as original, not biased, or accidentally condescending and that I have come up with a perfect “star-giving” mechanism, I’d still ask myself “How could you rate a philosopher like Camus with stars and grades? Isn’t philosophy’s goal I’m not good at giving stars to books. In the beginning, if I really liked a book I’d give four or five stars, but to this day I don’t know what that means. Then I decided to leave it to the instinct when in the last page of the book. But even if I accept my relativism as original, not biased, or accidentally condescending and that I have come up with a perfect “star-giving” mechanism, I’d still ask myself “How could you rate a philosopher like Camus with stars and grades? Isn’t philosophy’s goal to set thinking free from all tyrannical attempts to stop its search from meaning. Where would we be today if it weren’t for the thinkers who every now and then jump off the crowds just to show that as a metaphor, humanity as an ocean is better than a river. Here’s another quote from the book, in addition to the one I posted when I started reading it. Nothing is given to men, and the little they can conquer is paid for with unjust deaths. But man’s greatness lies elsewhere. It lies in his decision to be stronger than his condition. And if his condition is unjust, he has only one way of overcoming it, which is to be just himself.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Powerfully and staggeringly timely. Man is mortal. That may be, but let us die resisting; and if our lot is complete annihilation, let us not behave in such a way that it seems justice! I chose justice in order to remain faithful to the world. I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know that something in it has a meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one: hence he must be saved if we want to save the idea we have of life. Despite Powerfully and staggeringly timely. Man is mortal. That may be, but let us die resisting; and if our lot is complete annihilation, let us not behave in such a way that it seems justice! I chose justice in order to remain faithful to the world. I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know that something in it has a meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one: hence he must be saved if we want to save the idea we have of life. Despite the clamors and the violence, we tried to preserve in our hearts the memory of a happy sea, of a remembered hill, the smile of a beloved face. This was our best weapon, the one we shall never put away. But we know now that the weapons of happiness cannot be forged without considerable time and too much blood. The moment people begin rejecting the mystifications on which nihilism is based, then hope is possible. The whole question is whether or not we shall develop faster than the rocket with a nuclear warhead. And unfortunately, the fruits of the spirit are slower to ripen than intercontinental missiles. But, after all, since atomic war would divest any future of its meaning, it gives us complete freedom of action. We have nothing to lose except everything. So let's go ahead. This is the wager of our generation. If we are to fail, it is better, in any case, to have stood on the side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are destroying. The rebirth is in the hands of all of us. It is up to us if the West is to bring forth any anti-Alexanders to tie together the Gordian Knot of civilization cut by the sword. For this purpose, we must assume all the risks and labors of freedom. There is no need of knowing whether, by pursuing justice, we shall manage to preserve liberty. It is essential to know that without liberty, we shall achieve nothing and that we shall lose both future justice and ancient beauty. And art unites whereas tyranny separates.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Thomas

    I believe one of the descriptions of this book by the publisher state that this collection of writings is a masterful demonstration of Camus' "moral intelligence" and I simply couldn't agree more. The political writings of Camus range from his time in the French Resistance to the Algerian War (itself a personal struggle for Camus) and finally to the crushed revolt in Hungary and other discourses on the evils of totalitarianism. Throughout the works, one gets a understanding of the idea of justic I believe one of the descriptions of this book by the publisher state that this collection of writings is a masterful demonstration of Camus' "moral intelligence" and I simply couldn't agree more. The political writings of Camus range from his time in the French Resistance to the Algerian War (itself a personal struggle for Camus) and finally to the crushed revolt in Hungary and other discourses on the evils of totalitarianism. Throughout the works, one gets a understanding of the idea of justice and liberty that is in the forefront of Camus' political beliefs. It's not always flattering to Western Civilization but it provides the framework for an understanding of the drive to truth, justice, and liberty that used to motivate our political systems. I think anyone that aspires to enter the political arena or simply to understand what politics should be about should definitely read this collection. It's particularly relevant given our time's delicate (and perhaps broken) balance between security and freedom. The passages on Hungary seem particularly relevant given recent events in Ukraine and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. Perhaps if our public servants had taken a moment to reflect on Camus' take on the popular political "buzzwords" they like to use in their speeches while steadfastly refusing to act upon their concepts, there wouldn't been as much death and destruction in this world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tuba

    Albert Camus is an extremely talented writer and a great humanist. I loved the book, especially Letters to a German Friend, Algeria, Reflections on the Guillotine. Some of the quotes I loved from the essays: “Today freedom has not many allies. I have been known to say that the real passion of the twentieth century was slavery”. “Men like you and me who in the morning patted children on the head would a few hours later become meticulous executioners.” “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being Albert Camus is an extremely talented writer and a great humanist. I loved the book, especially Letters to a German Friend, Algeria, Reflections on the Guillotine. Some of the quotes I loved from the essays: “Today freedom has not many allies. I have been known to say that the real passion of the twentieth century was slavery”. “Men like you and me who in the morning patted children on the head would a few hours later become meticulous executioners.” “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured.” “And forceful intellectuals announced to the worker that bread alone interested him rather than freedom, as if the worker didn’t know that his bread depends in part on his freedom.” “A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad.” “To justify himself, each relies on the other’s crime.” “When historical truth is involved, the more anyone claims to possess it the more he lies.” “It is better for the intellectual not to talk all the time. To begin with, it would exhaust him, and, above all, it would keep him from thinking. He must create if he can, first and foremost, especially if his creation does not sidestep the problems of his time.” “No great work has ever been based on hatred or contempt.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Siddhartha Kumar

    Camus was such a powerful force of nature. Clear, precise, penetrating and brutally honest. His essays "Reflections on the Guillotine" and "Create Dangerously" were one of the most precise works I've come across on the subjects that I think about a lot - the futility of the death penalty and the work of an artist. Looking forward to read the rest of his bibliography. Camus was such a powerful force of nature. Clear, precise, penetrating and brutally honest. His essays "Reflections on the Guillotine" and "Create Dangerously" were one of the most precise works I've come across on the subjects that I think about a lot - the futility of the death penalty and the work of an artist. Looking forward to read the rest of his bibliography.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    I read this while visiting Ed Erickson and other friends at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana while on Xmas break from Grinnell College--one of many visits to the U of I made possible by the fact that they were on a quarter system while we were on a semester one. The biggest impression made by this book was in terms of Camus' treatment of the Algerian independence movement (the most prominent topic in this collection) which was nearing success at the time of this book's publication a I read this while visiting Ed Erickson and other friends at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana while on Xmas break from Grinnell College--one of many visits to the U of I made possible by the fact that they were on a quarter system while we were on a semester one. The biggest impression made by this book was in terms of Camus' treatment of the Algerian independence movement (the most prominent topic in this collection) which was nearing success at the time of this book's publication and its author's death. On the one hand, I had an almost kneejerk approval of any and all anti-colonialist movements at the time. On the other hand, Camus' tortured attempts to justify a continued French presence in the land of his birth was poignant. The associations to Palestine were obvious and the emotions engendered in me were complex and confused.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

    The fact that these essays resonated with me so strongly today shows we haven’t yet emerged successfully from the ‘wager of our generation’ of liberty versus nihilism of which Camus speaks after World War Two. I very nearly docked a star because the essays regarding Algeria were so hypocritical coming after his towering ‘Defense of Freedom’ essays, Camus was clearly far too close to the situation as a French-Algerian to see the situation without bias. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It seems sh The fact that these essays resonated with me so strongly today shows we haven’t yet emerged successfully from the ‘wager of our generation’ of liberty versus nihilism of which Camus speaks after World War Two. I very nearly docked a star because the essays regarding Algeria were so hypocritical coming after his towering ‘Defense of Freedom’ essays, Camus was clearly far too close to the situation as a French-Algerian to see the situation without bias. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It seems shocking that he could be so naïve in that regard, considering how clearly he saw other issues, but, who knows?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    It's a little remarkable how relevant some of these essays still are given their subject matter. "If absolute truth belongs to anyone in this world, it certainly does not belong to the man or party that claims to possess it. When historical truth is involved, the more anyone claims to possess it the more he lies." p 165 It's a little remarkable how relevant some of these essays still are given their subject matter. "If absolute truth belongs to anyone in this world, it certainly does not belong to the man or party that claims to possess it. When historical truth is involved, the more anyone claims to possess it the more he lies." p 165

  19. 5 out of 5

    kaelan

    Albert Camus is a lucid and engaging writer; even in translation, one can recognize the powerful originality of his metaphors and analogies. And unlike some his of continental peers, he endorses a fairly common-sense version of classical liberalism. As he writes in "Bread and Freedom," freedom is the paramount human value: If you have food, say, but no freedom, then you live in precarity. But freedom, as a matter of definition, entails access to food and other necessities.* Many of these essays f Albert Camus is a lucid and engaging writer; even in translation, one can recognize the powerful originality of his metaphors and analogies. And unlike some his of continental peers, he endorses a fairly common-sense version of classical liberalism. As he writes in "Bread and Freedom," freedom is the paramount human value: If you have food, say, but no freedom, then you live in precarity. But freedom, as a matter of definition, entails access to food and other necessities.* Many of these essays focus on particular issues of the day—the Resistance, the colonization of Algeria, etc. But their relevance wends its fingers into the present. In the pieces on Algeria, Camus raises the generational dilemma of colonialism: to what extent are second (or third or fourth…) generation colonizers morally responsible for the actions of their forbearers? He doesn't provide concrete answers (are there any?), but frames the issue with sympathy and intellectual integrity. An especial highlight is "Reflections on the Guillotine," which finds Camus railing against France's death penalty. Notably, he points out the consequentialist perils of capital punishment, given the risk of wrongful imprisonment, and the fact that would-be criminals are unlikely to be deterred by potential future punishments. Both insights continue to crop up in present-day debates on the subject. I could see myself upping this rating upon a second read through. * Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen, in developing their "capability approach" to economics, have made similar arguments.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mads

    Camus chose twenty-three essays to comprise this collection a year before his death. Camus is a powerful writer and has a rousing crowd-pleasing style ("The doves of peace do not perch on gallows") suited to editorials, a style that must have been honed during his days as a writer in the French Resistance. "The society of money and exploitation has never been charged, so far as I know, with assuring the triumph of freedom and justice. Police states have never been suspected of opening schools of Camus chose twenty-three essays to comprise this collection a year before his death. Camus is a powerful writer and has a rousing crowd-pleasing style ("The doves of peace do not perch on gallows") suited to editorials, a style that must have been honed during his days as a writer in the French Resistance. "The society of money and exploitation has never been charged, so far as I know, with assuring the triumph of freedom and justice. Police states have never been suspected of opening schools of law in the cellars where they interrogate their subjects. So, when they oppress and exploit, they are merely doing their job, and whoever blindly entrusts them with the care of freedom has no right to be surprised when she is immediately dishonored." "The artist constantly lives in such a state of ambiguity, incapable of negating the real and yet eternally bound to question it in its eternally unfinished aspects." The piece against capital punishment, "Reflections on the Guillotine" is strong. My personal views supporting the death penalty wobbles when I read Camus' arguments.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    The first set "Letters to a German friend" was very disturbing. War is business, but Camus makes it sound like it is based on ideology. He also seems to think that the decision to go to war is a collective one made by an entire nation, when it actually is made by the ruling class alone. Camus is a philosopher and not a politician as he himself claims, and I add that even his knowledge of basic politics is questionable. I admire Camus, but for politics around the World Wars, I prefer Orwell. I re The first set "Letters to a German friend" was very disturbing. War is business, but Camus makes it sound like it is based on ideology. He also seems to think that the decision to go to war is a collective one made by an entire nation, when it actually is made by the ruling class alone. Camus is a philosopher and not a politician as he himself claims, and I add that even his knowledge of basic politics is questionable. I admire Camus, but for politics around the World Wars, I prefer Orwell. I read his essays on Art, which are somewhat interesting. His other essays/articles on Algeria, Hungary and Paris are hard to read because I'm not aware of their history. Also, since I do not really agree with his political ideas, I've giving up on this collection at this point. Might pick it up again later.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    Recommended to those looking to learn about Camus's political stance (that put him apart from Sartre). This is not particularly easy or enjoyable to read, but I think Camus is more explicit than normal about his position in these many separate essays. A crude summary might be: 'noone should die for an ideology, the loss of liberty imposed by any totalitarian government makes it have a net negative result, and nihilism is not the way forward for post-WWII societies'. Camus is a charming militant pa Recommended to those looking to learn about Camus's political stance (that put him apart from Sartre). This is not particularly easy or enjoyable to read, but I think Camus is more explicit than normal about his position in these many separate essays. A crude summary might be: 'noone should die for an ideology, the loss of liberty imposed by any totalitarian government makes it have a net negative result, and nihilism is not the way forward for post-WWII societies'. Camus is a charming militant pacifist, but I honestly don't know enough about the political situations to know whether he was being reasonable here, but at least in theory it seems so.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Mccrina

    The sheer positivity of the writing is infectious. It is full of brilliant insight into totalitarianism and how it can, indeed must, be resisted. I was particularly impressed by his argument against capital punishment, especially the interesting observation that over the course of the 20th century a person is just as, if not more, likely to be killed by the State than another individual; it is therefore important to protect the liberty of everyone by reducing the role of the State as omniscient, The sheer positivity of the writing is infectious. It is full of brilliant insight into totalitarianism and how it can, indeed must, be resisted. I was particularly impressed by his argument against capital punishment, especially the interesting observation that over the course of the 20th century a person is just as, if not more, likely to be killed by the State than another individual; it is therefore important to protect the liberty of everyone by reducing the role of the State as omniscient, omnipotent executioner wherever possible.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This is the book you read after watching Army of Shadows. Do you want to prolong that mood? I don't know. However, this is the mood you are in and so this is the book to read. You can pretty much guess how this book will be by the fact that it's Camus. The writing is excellent; the subject is complex, depressing, and difficult. Camus is always difficult, but he is worth it. The question is whether you can deal with him at that particular point in time. This is the book you read after watching Army of Shadows. Do you want to prolong that mood? I don't know. However, this is the mood you are in and so this is the book to read. You can pretty much guess how this book will be by the fact that it's Camus. The writing is excellent; the subject is complex, depressing, and difficult. Camus is always difficult, but he is worth it. The question is whether you can deal with him at that particular point in time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marietta

    Such clarity and humanity and beautifully expressed conviction... Here's what I'd like to say to George Bush: "There are means that cannot be excused. And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive. (p. 5)" Such clarity and humanity and beautifully expressed conviction... Here's what I'd like to say to George Bush: "There are means that cannot be excused. And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive. (p. 5)"

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence Kelley

    This book gave me a unique perspective on America's upcoming War on Terror. Much of what the U.S. would inherit were problems originally sparked by British and French colonialism in Africa and the Middle East. This book gave me a unique perspective on America's upcoming War on Terror. Much of what the U.S. would inherit were problems originally sparked by British and French colonialism in Africa and the Middle East.

  27. 4 out of 5

    August Robert

    Resistance, Rebellion, and Death lives up to its heady title, as Camus wrestles with the great moral dilemmas of his times – freedom and liberty, the carnage of WWII, zero-sum anti-colonial battles in Algeria and Hungary, the death penalty, and the responsibility of art. This deft collection is made up of everything from interviews and speeches, to underground journalism, and formal essays. Camus quite publicly broke with his contemporary, Sartre, on the matter of whether violence can be justifie Resistance, Rebellion, and Death lives up to its heady title, as Camus wrestles with the great moral dilemmas of his times – freedom and liberty, the carnage of WWII, zero-sum anti-colonial battles in Algeria and Hungary, the death penalty, and the responsibility of art. This deft collection is made up of everything from interviews and speeches, to underground journalism, and formal essays. Camus quite publicly broke with his contemporary, Sartre, on the matter of whether violence can be justified for a noble cause (ends justifying the means type of stuff). Camus would stoutly say it is not, and this collection puts that philosophy to work. As the anti-colonial struggle raged in his homeland of Algeria – with the French clinging to racist colonial rule and some extreme Algerian Arabs perpetrating violence against innocent French-Algerians, while demanding every person of French descent be expelled from the country – Camus stationed himself as a journalist to chronicle the conflict. "When fighting for your truth, you must take care not to kill it with the very arms you are using to defend it," (p. 121) he wrote. Most stirring is a sixty page essay – "Reflections on the Guillotine" – excoriating the death penalty from every which way. "There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed," (p. 234) Camus concludes the painfully relevant essay. I am sometimes in awe of the moral certitude espoused by Camus, though he makes clear that his steely and decent humanism was not without testing as he speaks of overcoming the "temptation of hatred," (p. 242) resulting from the mass death of loved ones through WWII. Reflecting on the contradictions artists face, Camus declares, "the world is nothing and the world is everything," (p. 265). Perhaps it's trite, but I have no better distillation of Camus's philosophy and refusal to give up hope in the pursuit of unity, fraternity, and love.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ro

    A nice collection of essays by Camus on the French Resistance, the Algerian War, the Soviet intervention in Hungary, violence, vengeance, art, and more. The writing is very powerful, heartfelt, and passionate. It can be a little hard to follow at times, if you aren't used to reading this sort of mid-century philosophy, but definitely worth checking out. A nice collection of essays by Camus on the French Resistance, the Algerian War, the Soviet intervention in Hungary, violence, vengeance, art, and more. The writing is very powerful, heartfelt, and passionate. It can be a little hard to follow at times, if you aren't used to reading this sort of mid-century philosophy, but definitely worth checking out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I love Camus. Easily my favorite writer, thinker, philosopher, political theorists etc. etc.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn Oesterblad

    These essays varied wildly in quality, but they all made me think, so I'll settle on four stars. These essays varied wildly in quality, but they all made me think, so I'll settle on four stars.

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