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New book from former French resistance fighter all the rage

The New York Times has an article about former French resistance fighter Stéphane Hessel’s new pamphlet book called “Indignez-vous!” (“Time for Outrage!”). It is quite the popular phenomenon and an excerpt of the article is below, as well as a link to The Nation‘s publication of it.

A Resistance Hero Fires Up the French
By ELAINE SCIOLINO
Published: March 9, 2011

PARIS — As a hero of the French Resistance, Stéphane Hessel was in exile with Charles de Gaulle in London, imprisoned in concentration camps, waterboarded in Nazi torture sessions and saved from hanging by swapping identities with an inmate who had died of typhus.

Now, at 93, he is the author of a best seller that has become a publishing phenomenon in France. It is not the story of his life (he wrote his autobiography years ago), but a thin, impressionistic pamphlet called “Indignez-Vous!,” held together by two staples and released by a two-person publishing house run out of the attic of their home. It urges young people to revive the ideal of resistance to the Nazis by peacefully resisting the “international dictatorship of the financial markets” and defending the “values of modern democracy.”

In particular Mr. Hessel protests France’s treatment of illegal immigrants, the influence on the media by the rich, cuts to the social welfare system, French educational reforms and, most strongly, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“When something outrages you, as Nazism did me, that is when you become a militant, strong and engaged,” he writes. “You join the movement of history, and the great current of history continues to flow only thanks to each and every one of us.”

Since its publication in October “Indignez-Vous!” has sold almost 1.5 million copies in France and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Greek. Editions are planned in Slovenian, Korean, Japanese, Swedish and other languages. In the United States, The Nation magazine published the entire English text last month…

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