, December 12, 2015
(view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
In 1985, when Dreyfus, the only Jew to make it so far in the French army, was wrongly accused and found guilty of spying, Zola, already famous as a writer, only complained in private. When rumors of a cover-up surfaced, his complaints against the vagaries of military politics became more public, thus falling foul of social politics too.
To Live Out Loud follows the travesty of Zola’s subsequent trial, revealing a world of patriotic lies, political expediency, and blatant untruths repeated to fire up emotions of uneducated masses -- a world that seems, despite its much smaller media presence, not so different from our own. But this short novel concerns far more than politics, revealing how everyone watches through eyes of past experience, surrounding culture, and historical assumption. Even our own valued sense of injustice might be bound in personal bias. And the influential will always speak louder than the wise.
I was eager to read this book as I’d often heard of Dreyfus during my childhood in England. I’ve learned much more from this book, sharing that “moment in the history of human conscience” through the characters' eyes, and really enjoying the read.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.