Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper Combat, 1944-1947

Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper Combat, 1944-1947

by Albert Camus

CONTRIBUTORS: Elizabeth Young-Bruehl.


CONTRIBUTORS: Elizabeth Young-Bruehl.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Camus ( The Stranger ) was one of the editors of Combat , a newspaper of the French Resistance, during the last two years of WW II and after. This collection makes available in English for the first time 40 editorials he wrote for the paper and his letter of resignation. The pieces allow readers to track his political evolution at the time, groping his way from ``machine guns when necessary'' to ``the refusal to legitimize murder,'' as his disillusion with post-Liberation French politics grew. Regrettably, few things age as badly as newspaper editorials. Although Camus declaims, ``We need words that are more direct and true,'' the writing here often is bloated and pompous. De Gramont's translation reads well, and his introductory essay is succinct and informative, briefly tracing the history of the Resistance and Camus's role in it. The book does contain flashes of the moral outrage that won this Nobel laureate acclaim as a novelist and essayist, and its historical interest is undeniable, but readers looking for more will be disappointed. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Thoughtful and well organized, documented by an informative 32-page introduction as well as by notes, this book presents Camus's (1913-1960) political credo during 1944-47. At that time, he was editor of the journal Combat , initially published clandestinely by the French Resistance. Until now, only a few of the editorials have appeared in English; this book collects 41 of the most important, dealing with Camus's views on the nature of revolution, his hopes for the new society (which he thought would emerge after the war), and his gradual disillusionment with the impact the Resistance would have on French politics. The title is taken from a 1945 editorial, ``On the Bombing of Hiroshima,'' which asks that we ``choose definitely between hell and reason.'' For those familiar only with Camus's novels and theater, this is an excellent introduction to the political thinking that illuminates all his work.-- Danielle Mihram, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles
From the Publisher
“An excellent introduction to the political thinking that illuminates all Camus’s work . . . This book presents his political credo during 1944–47 [when] he edited the journal Combat, initially published clandestinely by the French Resistance”—Library Journal

“Intensely personal, unsystematic, impassioned, partial, utopian, the essays illuminate central insights of [Campus’s] imaginative works.” —Freedom Review

“In this remarkable series of brief documents we get an inspiring picture of a man blessed with sanity and courage…Camus was one of the most sane and honest men of the century, and this document records for the first time in English his complete editorials for Combat, which will serve as a warning to revolutionaries even in the centuries to come.”—Booklist

Product Details

Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Trans. from the French
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

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