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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bad Faith


The bottomless corruption, political and personal, of French fascism is explored in this absorbing biography of one of its most loathsome figures—Louis Darquier, commissioner for Jewish affairs under the Vichy regime. A violent anti-Semite and paid Nazi propagandist before WWII, he helped organize the deportation of French Jews, including thousands of children, to Auschwitz during the German occupation.

The UK cover is on top; the US on the bottom. I simply don't understand the UK cover. Not sure if that's Darquier on the cover, but if I saw this on the bookshelf I would never think it's a book about "one of French fascism's most loathsome figures." The US version? Much better.

And this book has caused quite a row:

The British-based author and former publisher Carmen Callil has become embroiled in a growing dispute over the limits of freedom of speech in America after a party celebrating her new book on Vichy France was cancelled because of the opinion she expresses about the modern state of Israel. Full story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like so many others, Ms Callil has mistaken freedom of speech for the nonexistent right to a forum for that speech. Besides, these cancellations would only be a violation of her freedom of speech if the government quashed these appearances. Private individuals and organizations may decline to sponsor most anything if they deem it inappropriate or inconsistent with their client, customer or membership desires. Likewise, no publisher is obligated to publish anyone's manuscript. You may say what you want but nobody has to listen to you say it or provide a platform for you to speak!