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Camus

Portrait of a Moralist

With a new Afterword

Decades after his death, Albert Camus (1913–1960) is still regarded as one of the most influential and fascinating intellectuals of the twentieth century. This biography by Stephen Eric Bronner explores the connections between his literary work, his philosophical writings, and his politics.

Camus illuminates his impoverished childhood, his existential concerns, his activities in the antifascist resistance, and the controversies in which he was engaged. Beautifully written and incisively argued, this study offers new insights—and above all—highlights the contemporary relevance of an extraordinary man.

“A model of a kind of intelligent writing that should be in greater supply. Bronner manages judiciously to combine an appreciation for the strengths of Camus and nonrancorous criticism of his weaknesses. . . . As a personal and opinionated book, it invites the reader into an engaging and informative dialogue.”—American Political Science Review

 

“This concise, lively, and remarkably evenhanded treatment of the life and work of Albert Camus weaves together biography, philosophical analysis, and political commentary.”—Science & Society


200 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1999, 2009

Biography and Letters

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Reviews

“A model of a kind of intelligent writing that should be in greater supply. Bronner manages judiciously to combine an appreciation for the strengths of Camus and nonrancorous criticism of his weaknesses. . . . As a personal and opinionated book, it invites the reader into an engaging and informative dialogue."

American Political Science Review

“This concise, lively, and remarkably evenhanded treatment of the life and work of Albert Camus weaves together biography, philosophical analysis, and political commentary."

Kristana Arp | Science & Society

“[Bronner] succeeds in explaining Camus’ unique sense of personal responsibility and his lucidity, tolerance, and honesty."

Library Journal

"This study retraces the life and career of Albert Camus while elucidating the tumultuous period in which he lived. It features several original readings of major literary and philosophical texts, an incisive analysis of the Camus-Sartre controversy, and a thoughtful re-examination of Camus’s role in the Algerian conflict. It also provides a relevant and respectful look into Camus’s personal life. . . . Bronner portrays Camus with depth, subtlety, and, above all, balance. . . . A lucid and provocative re-thinking of who Camus was, what he meant for the past, and what he might mean for the future."

Steven Hartlaub | SubStance

"A short, well-informed, clear and very balanced overview of the life and work of one of the most important European intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century. . . .The book will serve especially well those wanting an overall intellectual portrait of the man. Thus, it would be ideal complementary reading for students of existentialism and European intellectual history."

David Weberman | Review of Politics

Table of Contents

Preface, 2009


1 — early days

Youth

Religion

Experiments

Activism


2 — the absurd

Meursalt

Sisyphus

Caligula


3 — resistance

Commitment

Language

Solidarity


4 — limits

The Postwar World

Rebellion

Criticsims

A Controversy with Sartre


5 — creation corrected

Exile

Judgement

The Kingdom


6 — the legacy

chronology

afterword, 2009

index

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