The little red book that swept France
The latest call to (non-violent) arms has turned a 93-year-old war hero into a publishing phenomenon. John Lichfield reports
Take a book of just 13 pages, written by a relatively obscure 93-year-old
man, which contains no sex, no jokes, no fine writing and no startlingly
original message. A publishing disaster? No, a publishing phenomenon.
Indignez vous! (Cry out!), a slim pamphlet by a wartime French resistance
hero, Stéphane Hessel, is smashing all publishing records in France.
The book urges the French, and everyone else, to recapture the wartime
spirit of resistance to the Nazis by rejecting the “insolent, selfish” power of
money and markets and by defending the social “values of modern democracy”.