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The Cost of Courage

The Cost of Courage

by Charles Kaiser


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"The result is a mix of history, biography and memoir which reads like a nerve-racking thriller." —The Guardian (US)

This heroic true story of the three youngest children of a bourgeois Catholic family who worked together in the French Resistance is told by an American writer who has known and admired the family for five decades  

In the autumn of 1943, André Boulloche became de Gaulle’s military delegate in Paris, coordinating all the Resistance movements in the nine northern regions of France only to be betrayed by one of his associates, arrested, wounded by the Gestapo, and taken prisoner. His sisters carried on the fight without him until the end of the war. André survived three concentration camps and later became a prominent French politician who devoted the rest of his life to reconciliation of France and Germany. His parents and oldest brother were arrested and shipped off on the last train from Paris to Germany before the liberation, and died in the camps. Since then, silence has been the Boulloches’s answer to dealing with the unbearable. This is the first time the family has cooperated with an author to recount their extraordinary ordeal.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590516140
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 06/16/2015
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Charles Kaiser is the author of 1968 in America, one of the most admired popular histories of the music, politics, and culture of the 1960s, and The Gay Metropolis, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Lambda Literary Award winner. He lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

André is a handsome twenty-eight-year-old with brown hair and thick eyebrows that hover over a permanent glint in his eye.  Nearly six feet tall, he walks with a tempered, youthful swagger.  Before the war, friends considered him something of a dandy.
André has been ordered back to occupied France by Charles de Gaulle, to be the general’s personal military delegate in Paris.  Pseudonym: Armand; code name:  Hypotenuse; André’s charge from the renegade general is to bring some order to the burgeoning Resistance movements now operating in eleven different departments in northern France...Like everyone in the Resistance arriving from England, he also carries a cyanide pill in his pants pocket.  It will stay there, always–unless he is arrested.  When he touches it with his index finger, it feels like insurance against torture.  Or, perhaps, like his destiny.  Either way, he knows he will swallow it if he is captured by the Germans.
A certain fatalism fuels his fearlessness.  But there is one irony that probably escapes him: the only thing that might muffle his heroism could be his own survival.

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