Captain of Innocence

Norman Finkelstein, Author Putnam Publishing Group $15.95 (156p) ISBN 978-0-399-22243-6
Recounting a complex story that divided the turn-of-the-century populace, biographer Finkelstein ( Theodor Herzl ) relieves the density by placing the reader at the scene whenever possible. The subtitle is apt, because the story did not just concern a single individual (even Dreyfus was not fully aware of the larger implications of his case) but had local and global repercussions--horrifyingly shrill anti-Semitism presaging the Holocaust, the significance of monarchy in French culture even after the Revolution, the importance of religion in government at that time and the development of Zionism in response. The twisting of facts by military and government factions because of ``blind passion, subverted justice, and shameless bigotry'' has contemporary parallels in ``my army/country, right or wrong'' sentiments. In spite of alarming proceedings, readers who persevere will be reassured to learn that justice was eventually achieved. Ages 11-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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