Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters

by Louis Begley

Another book I didn't read in its entirety. I wanted to know more about the Dreyfus Affair (in which anti-Semitic prejudice led to a Jewish officer in the French military being convicted of treason in a sham trial and wrongfully imprisoned for many years), but I didn't realize the "why it matters" angle was going to relate the historical event to contemporary legal issues in the so-called war on terror. So the parts I read, about the incident itself, are actually more detailed than I needed, and the book lacks the larger historical perspective I wanted.

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