The Dreyfus Affair: The Story of the Most Infamous Miscarriage of Justice in French History

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9781408801390: The Dreyfus Affair: The Story of the Most Infamous Miscarriage of Justice in French History
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Intelligent, ambitious and a rising star in the French artillery, Captain Alfred Dreyfus appeared to have everything: family, money, and the prospect of a post on the General Staff. But his rapid rise had also made him enemies - many of them aristocratic officers in the army's High Command who resented him because he was middle-class, meritocratic and a Jew.

In October 1894, the torn fragments of an unsigned memo containing military secrets were retrieved by a cleaning lady from the waste paper basket of Colonel Maximilien von Schwartzkoppen of the German embassy in Paris. When French intelligence pieced the document back together to uncover proof of a spy in their midst, Captain Dreyfus, on slender evidence, was charged with selling military secrets to the Germans, found guilty of treason by unanimous verdict and sentenced to life imprisonment on the notorious Devil's Island.

The fight to free the wrongfully convicted Dreyfus - over twelve long years, through many trials - is a story rife with heroes and villains, courage and cowardice, dissimulation and deceit. One of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in history, the Dreyfus affair divided France, stunned the world and unleashed violent hatreds and anti-Semitic passions which offered a foretaste of what was to play out in the long, bloody twentieth century to come.

Today, amid charged debates over national and religious identity across the globe, its lessons throw into sharp relief the conflicts of the present. In the hands of historian, biographer and prize-winning novelist Piers Paul Read, this masterful epic of the struggle between a minority seeking justice and a military establishment determined to save face comes dramatically alive for a new generation.

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The author effectively deploys his considerable literary talents to master the contortions of the affair and humanise the large cast of villains and heroes. The result is compelling and tense (Sunday Times)

Splendidly is conveys the drama of this episode. He brings to life the tension of trials and court martials (Independent)

His intention is to tell the story as it stands and he does so vividly and intelligently (New Statesman)

Masterly and eminently balanced ... Piers Paul Read's narrative is compelling. He disentangles the complicated web of the Affair and is just to both sides. I can't think the story could be better, or more fairly, told (Spectator)

Read chronicles developments with a novelist's flair, weaving a rich tapestry, evoking the humanity behind the history (Times Literary Supplement)

In bringing his novelist's eye to bear on events, Read ensures they unfold with a compelling sense of drama. And what an extraordinary story it is ... In admirably clearheaded fashion, he disentangles the facts from the myths and shows that this was far more morally ambiguous story than has often been presented (Sunday Telegraph)

**** [Read] guides us through the giddying twists and turns of this complex story with skill, and brings the large cast of characters vividly to life ... [this] elegant book is a timely reminder of the devastating consequences of bigotry and the abuse of power (Simon Griffith, Mail on Sunday)

Brilliantly vivid (Guardian)

In his new book, Piers Paul Read admirably demonstrates why we still find the subject fascinating more than a century after it resolved (Daily Telegraph)

Brings an original perspective to The Dreyfus Affair (Financial Times)

Book Description:

A compelling, new and highly accessible account of one of the most high-profile and influential miscarriages of justice in French history: The Dreyfus Affair

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781608194322: The Dreyfus Affair: The Scandal That Tore France in Two

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ISBN 10: 1608194329 ISBN 13: 9781608194322
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9781408830574: The Dreyfus Affair: The Story of the Most Infamous Miscarriage of Justice in French History

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