978-0-304-29487-9 / 9780304294879

Prisoners of Honour


Publisher:Littlehampton Book Services Ltd



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About the book:

The Dreyfus Affair began with the persecution of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Army's most promising Jewish officer, who was falsely accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. It ended as the cause celebre of the 19th century, the affair not only of France but of the world, an event that was eventually to cause mass protests in Europe and America, produce Emile Zola's ringing J'Accuse, and involved most of the leading international figures of the day. This book tells how ambitious government officials framed Dreyfus as a traitor, raising anti-Semitism to a national passion, and then offered 'national security' as the reason for covering up the crime they had committed, until the nation's leaders, military and civilian, came to believe that the revelation of the truth might cause the government's downfall and therefore bring dishonour to France. As they became 'prisoners of honour' so did the object of their persecution. No man would seem a less likely hero than Alfred Dreyfus - ambitious, officious, stiff and formal. But he was also a man of extraordinary courage. Convicted of high treason, publicly degraded, torn from his family and sent to Devil's Island, he remained a patriot determined to have his innocence proclaimed so that he could restore the honour of the Army and the country he loved. Because of the efforts of a few courageous journalists, his brother Mathieu, some of the nation's leading intellectuals and politicians, including members of the Senate, Dreyfus and justice - the man and the cause - finally triumphed.

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