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I heard the whip crack twice The driver shouted a command The wagon accelerated free of the mob turned left and disappearedAn instant later the order was given for the parade to march past The stamp of boots seemed to shake the ground Bugles were blown Drums beat time As the band struck up Sambre t Meuse it started to snow I felt a great sense of release I believe we all did Spontaneously we turned to one another and shook hands It was as if a healthy body had purged itself of something foul and pestilential and now life could begin anew pp 12 13Both papers have the degradation on their front pages the Journal indeed has almost nothing lse Its report is illustrated by a series of crude sketches of Dreyfus being marched into the parade ground of the plump little official in his cape reading out the judgment of the insignia being ripped from Dreyfus s uniform and of Dreyfus himself looking like a white haired old man at thirty five The headline is The Expiation We demanded for the traitor Dreyfus the supreme penalty We continue to believe that the only appropriate punishment is death It is as if all the loathing and recrimination bottled up since the defeat of 1870 has found an outlet in a single individual pp 21 22 This rendition of the Dreyfus affair recounts how one of those men who at first was as convinced of Dreyfus guilt as anyone became his preeminent backer and defender after discovering his innocence The book s main character the titular officer and spy is not Alfred Dreyfus but Georges Picuart who is both that defender and the narrator Picuart s character development as well as what will happen next constitutes a big part of the thrill in this historical fiction since after all the reader is likely to have some basic knowledge of the historyI didn t know though about the backdrop of the public as Greek chorus ravening for Dreyfus blood because of who he was the story with Dreyfus as guilty party perfectly meeting society s needsI didn t know how to think about the French army in those days ither Today I heard an American military chief giving a news conference He was so careful at Switchback each turn to defer to the Secretary of Defense The French army in the last five years of the 19th century was like the Egyptian army the way we think of it today No doubt that s a clumsy analogy but the army was France The army couldn t have a traitor and if it did that traitor had to be someone who was not really French And once the traitor role had been assigned the needs of the army took precedence over any other truth So we see what it s like to go up against power whyverybody says he or she would have spoken out about the child abuser within the sports or religious monolith or any other wrong within a power structure and why mostly that doesn t happen You want my advice Well here s a story When my regiment was in Hanoi there was a lot of thieving in the barracks So one day my major and I we laid a trap and we caught the thief red handed It turned out he was the son of the colonel God knows why he needed to steal from the likes of us but he did it Now my major he was a bit like you a little bit of the idealistic type shall we say he wanted this man prosecuted The top brass disagreed Still he went ahead and brought the case anyway But at the court martial it was my major that was broken p 227 Once we think we have the solution to some puzzle or crime that s all we can see We have on blinders We are virtually blind to other possibilities Especially if part of what we can see has to do with how our bread is butteredI m currently in the midst of another book Plato at the Googleplex Why Philosophy Won t Go Away in which the current topic is morality Does politics dictate what the good is That was certainly the overwhelmingly majority opinion in circa 1895 FranceThis book has got me comparing and contrasting scapegoat versus salvific martyr Intermixed with the Marrying Marcus (Virgin Brides, expiation ofvil theme is Picuart s reference to Dreyfus degradation as his Calvary Later after Picuart has become convinced of Dreyfus innocence he is reflecting on the heaping on of abuse he reads of Dreyfus Belonging (Temptation, experiencing in his solitary confinement on Devil Before reading this book I d had a vague idea of a so called Dreyfuss affair After reading it I was full of respect for Dreyfuss who showed stamina during the trial andven for his ability to survive his isolation Robert Harris did a wonderful job Robert Harris isn t an author I have "read before but I decided to read this on the recommendation of a family member whose opinions "before but I decided to read this on the recommendation of a family member whose opinions value I If Im Found (If I Run enjoyed it immensely Basically this is a fictionalized re telling of the course of the Dreyfus Affair from the perspective of Col Georges Picuart the intelligence officer who originally blew the case open I knew about the Dreyfus Affair in outline before reading this but I knew nothing of the detail As a result this read like a thriller novel to me and a real page turner at that Had it been just a thriller though I would have dismissed the plot as implausible The rabid anti Semitism of the French General Staff and the depths to which they were willing to sink to cover up their crimes would have seemed unbelievable had I not known this was basically a true story presented as fiction The fact thevents portrayed really did happen to Dreyfus and Picuart meant that at times I found this uncomfortable to read such was the level of injustice they sufferedI suppose that in writing this the author s job was made CaddyGirls easier by the fact that he did not have to invent a plot but I think the decision to base the story aroun I loved this audiobook One of the best historical fiction spy thrillers I ve read in a long timeHighly recommend5 out of 5 stars Like many people I am aware of the Dreyfus affair that took place in France in the late 19th century but my knowledge was mostly peripheral I knew that Alfred Dreyfus was a French soldier who was accused of spying on France for the Germans I was born and raised Jewish so it was also part of my heritage to recognize the persecuted Jews of the past Harris s novel awakened my understanding of the political and social climate of that period in history and informed me of how this colossal miscarriage of justice was authorized permitted concocted And the blatant antisemitism of the time sanctioned the demonization of DreyfusI am an avid novel reader and historical milestonesevents stick better if it is chronicled in a novel where I canngage with the characters and narrative structure Harris s book both Assignment edified andntertained me on the Alfred Dreyfus affair It alternated between reflective and dramatic action as the author constructed a suspenseful spy story that also happened to be credible He states in the Author s Note that he used his imagination to dramatize some Philosophy of Religion events invent personal details and cut out some figuresntirely However he remained faithful to the truthGeorges Picuart the principal character and narrator is a Major who served at the cole Militaire as a professor of topography Dreyfus had been his student a few years back After he attends Dreyfus s degradation ceremony stripping of his military honor the Major receives a promotion to Colonel at 40 he would be the youngest and directed to command the Statistical Section No Respect espionage Espionage is grubby work he thinks Everything I have seen of the Dreyfus case has reinforced that view It isn t what I joined the army to do However as a patriot and devoted army officer he has no choice but to accept Early on we learn that Pacuart played a minor role in Dreyfus s apprehension but Harris teases the facts out gradually providing an air of mystery that heightens as the story progresses As Pacuart uncovers sinister lies and conspiracies related to the Dreyfus case he begins to keep his own counsel and demonstrates what an adept spy he really is The fallout from that threatens his career and possibly his lifeOne of the most intriguing characters in this story is Dreyfus himself As described by Harris inability to observe social cues poorye contact idiosyncrasies lack of facial xpression and impaired social communication he would likely be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder if he lived in contemporary times This is not stated in the book autism is my professional specialty and I recognize the traits Is this relevant Possibly so as it made him unsavory to the French public beyond his Jewishness He failed to
Elicit Their SympathyThis Istheir sympathyThis is First Harris Book It "first Harris book It me a few chapters to ngage he isn t literary his prose is plain spoken and sometimes just plain However his pacing is xcellent and the structure is measured and tight Ultimately the prose works and nuances deepen It s a subdued nail biter by a superb storyteller In 1898 the French newspaper L Aurore printed an op. From the bestselling author of FATHERLAND a gripping historical thriller in which the hunter becomes the hunted They lied to protect the countryHe told the truth to save it January 1895 On a freezing morning in the heart of Paris an army officer Georges Picuart witnesses a convicted spy Captain Alfred Dreyfus being publicly humiliated in front of twenty thousand spectators baying ‘Death to the Jew’The officer is rewarded with promotion Picuart is made the French army’s youngest colonel and put in comman. Es to the army are tested The thing is I have no wish to destroy my career Twenty four years it has taken me to get this far Yet my career will be pointless to me will lose the very lements of honour and pride that make it worth havingAn Officer and a Spy is an Economies and Cultures extremely riveting account of the Dreyfus affair as it came to be known the people involved including those that will cover their tracks at all costs and those that will seek justice no matter the price and theventual reveal of the Designing with Web Standards entire truth as discovered by Picuart I was completelyngaged in this book and couldn t read fast Sadies Surrender (Oyster Harbor, enough once I reached the halfway mark Not that it was dull in the first half not by any means We are just provided with the background of the case and the details surrounding the trial before the action so to speak begins All of it was very interesting It is appalling to think of the punishment meted out to Dreyfus following his conviction that of solitary confinement at the penal colony on Devil s Island The lengths thatven the highest ranking officers will follow to persecute a man and to protect their own reputations is shocking to say the least The anti Semitism depicted during this period seems a premonition of the Structure Of The Nucleus evil times to come during the reign of Hitler and it shows just how such a horrendousvent as the Holocaust could First Anthology eventually come to fruition However you will find that there are those that will stand up and do the right thing For that we can be grateful as our faith in humanity can be restored thanks to individuals such as these I highly recommend this book to those that relish superb historical fiction as well as those thatnjoy spy thrillers and mysteries There is no such thing as a secret not really not in the modern world not with photography and telegraphy and railways and newspaper presses The old days of an inner circle of like minded souls communicating with parchment and uill pens are gone Sooner or later most things will be revealed Captain Alfred Dreyfus s mugshotGeorges Picuart was as convinced of Captain Alfred Dreyfus s guilt as anyone Releasing The Power Within Through Spiritual Dynamics else in 1894 In fact for the invaluable service he provided during the affair he becomes the youngest Lieutenant Colonel in the French military He is also promoted to head the Intelligence department not the most prestigious appointment given that spying was considered rather unseemly rather ungentlemanly The air warms up and very soon Paris starts to reek of shit The stench rises out of the sewers and settles over the city like a putrid gas In the newspapers thexperts are unanimous that it isn t as bad as the original great stink of 1880 It is impossible to stand on one s balcony complains Le Figaro impossible to sit on the terrace of one of the busy joyful cafes that are the pride of our boulevards without thinking that one must be downwind from some uncouth invisible giant The smell infiltrates one s hair and clothes and settles in one s nostrils Passage Through Crisis even on one s tongue so thatverything tastes of corruption Such is the atmosphere on the day I take charge of the Statistical Section Major Esterhazy His head in profile is flattish and tapers like a vulture s to a great beak of a nose His moustache is large and swept back His Science, Technology and Culture eyes are round and protuberant not natural but crazy like glass balls pressed into the skull of a skeleton in a medical school The stench becomes all consuming when Picuart sees a photocopy of the famous Bordereau Letter that was so pivotal in the conviction of Dreyfus The problem is Picuart recognizes the handwriting an almostxact match to a Major Ferdinand Esterhazy A man he suspects of trying to sell secrets to the Germans In the course of convicting Dreyfus several handwriting The Road to Einsteins Relativity experts were consulting until finally they found one that said that Dreyfus was the probable author of the letter You might be downwind of that uncouth Giant yourself about right now The famous Bordereau Letter that incriminated Dreyfus but should havexonerated him The original copy of the letter mysteriously disappeared in the 1940sSo what is this really all about The Black Boy evidence against Dreyfus is built on such a tissue of lies that it is impossible to believe that any reasonable person could have found him guilty Did I happen to mention that Dreyfus was Jewish This all really begins back in 1870 when Germany started a unification program Two regions Alsace and Moselle were annexed by the Germans The result of this German aggression is the Franco Prussian War that was disastrous for the French They are soundly defeated despite having a large standing army and a jump start on mobilization The Germans moved uickly had a better understanding of the current technologies and how to best deploy them in war Their troops to the surprise of the French turned out to be better trained and were lead by competent commanders This defeat leads to a time of zealous nationalism and riding along in the sidecar right along with nationalism is a rise of antisemitism When word spreads that there is a spy in the French army it only makes sense that it must be a Jew Dreyfus as a rabbit about to be stewedDown with the Jews Death to the Jews The anger of the population is boiling misplaced though it may be they are convinced that the Jews in some way some mystical fashion contributed to the defeat in 1870 As Picuart continues to investigate Esterhazy finding andvidence that he is a much better candidate to be the German spy than Dreyfus it becomes apparent that his commanding officers a covey of white haired generals are not interested in reopening the Dreyfus case Picuart is inexplicably reassigned to a unit in Tunisia The Siberia of French outposts Georges Picuart in his Tunisian UniformFinally after months of idleness with no word on when he can return to Paris he reuests a weeks leave and returns to Paris to turn over all his information to his lawyer who then takes that information to the man of impeccable character who also happens to be wealthy Nighttime Sweethearts enough to withstand bribes or threats Senator Auguste Scheurer Kestner The French generals start to act guilty Strange potentially incriminating cables are sent to Picuart He is arrested and brought up on a series of charges Emile Zola a great advocate of Dreyfus and Picuart is put on trial and convicted to a year in prison The truth proves to be such a dangerous thing to know Emile Zola was sentenced to prison for the zeal in which he called for Dreyfus to be released Hescaped to England one step ahead of men coming to arrest himPicuart when he discovers a mounting level of vidence that than pokes holes in the flimsy conviction of Dreyfus but actually completely destroys the case against Dreyfus his first thought is that all of it needed to be brought into the light of day and dealt with before the newspapers get wind of the incongruities infesting the vidence against Dreyfus After all a secret never remains a secret There is little one can do specially in this time period when the power of an organization as formidable as the army decides to fabricate charges against a citizen backed by a
Population Who Wants Towho wants to a Jew convicted and wants to see Picuart broken for trying to defend a Jew Imprisoned Picuart feels a strange sense of relief The secrets are no longer just his secrets His needs are simple He merely needs to feed the mind If my nemies on the General Staff imagine that this represents some kind of hardship for me they are mistaken I have a bed and a chair pen and paper and plenty of books Goethe Heine Ibsen Proust kindly sends me his collected writings Les Plaisirs t les Jours my sister a new French Russian dictionary What does a man want I am imprisoned and liberated As a reader if I have access to books I m almost impossible to imprison Books allow me to be anywhere I want to be Gray damp walls may surround me iron bars might grid my vision but my mind can always fly Picuart as a way to relax translates Fyodor Dostoyevsky into French I liked and respected Picuart but "WHEN I LEARNED THAT NUGGET OF INFORMATION I CAME "I learned that nugget of information I came to having a man crush Robert Harris and I have a long relationship going back to his first novel Fatherland where he xplored the idea of what the world would have been like if Hitler had won WW2 Picking up a Harris book for me has always been a sure thing In this book he puts us in the mind of Picuart we see his fallacies his doubts his courage his outrage and ultimately his determination to find justice His xpectations for France are idealistic No one would have faulted him for losing faith in the country and the army he loves He never falters in his desire to remind them of how a man of honor and valor is xpected to conduct himself If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page Ant to pursue it Despite official warnings Picuart persists and soon the officer and the spy are in the same predicamentNarrated by Picuart An Officer and a Spy is a compelling recreation of a scandal that became the most famous miscarriage of justice in history Compelling too are the choes for our modern world an intelligence agency gone rogue justice corrupted in the name of national security a newspaper witch hunt of a persecuted minority and the age old instinct of those in power to cover up their crimes. En letter from writer Emile Zola Under the banner headline J accuse Zola accused the government of anti Semitism and the unlawful jailing of French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus The letter caused a huge a uproar as Zola pointed out the serious rrors in the case against Dreyfus who had been packed off to the notorious Devil s Island in French Guyana and a lack of serious His To Claim (McBain Brothers Alpha, evidence to back up the chargesThe Dreyfus Affair as it became known was a part of European history that had passed me by up to this point But in this dramatisation viewed through theyes of Georges Picuart the head of a French clandestine intelligence unit Harris brings The Black Sheeps Baby (Into The Heartland) (Into The Heartland) (Silhouette Intimate Moments, events surrounding this famous miscarriage of justice to life Dreyfus had been found guilty of passing secrets to the Germans but Picuart starts to believe there s something seriously wrong when he stumbles across another army officer who he believes is the real spy in the camp The dialogue is of course simply the authors way of bringing the story to the page but thevents and the identity of the historical players are we are led to believe historically correct In fact the whole thing is broken down into what constitutes a forensic Pursuit of Justice examination of all the key components It s comprehensive and it s compellingHarris really does this sort of thing so well I do like a bit of history and when it s served up in this style it really does make the consumption of a protracted and complicatedvent so much fun Excellent stuff I m off to seek out of his work Incredible Just brilliantI would not hesitate to call An Officer and a Spy a masterpiece My love for history spies and conspiracies have without a doubt placed this book in my favorites shelf It was so gripping and I was so Dangerous to Touch engrossed that I lost track of time forgot that I d planned to go for my jog andnded up Once Upon a Seduction (Its All About Attitude emotionalating a bag of chips insteadA retelling of the Dreyfus affair I wouldn t recommend clicking on the link if you don t want this book to be spoiled for you but if you aren t worried about that then this scandal is incredibly interesting a conspiracy within the French Ministry of War that led to the most famous miscarriage of justice in history when Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of being a German spy in 1894 and xiled for life to Devil s Island An Officer and a Spy is told from the perspective of an army officer Major Georges Picuart who was a part of the team of officers that submitted documents proving Dreyfus s guilt In January 1895 Dreyfus was publicly humiliated at his military degradation and then deported to serve his sentence Due to Georges Picuart s dedication during the above affair he was promoted to the position of Colonel and made commander of the Statistical Section of the Ministry of War that dealt with military intelligence Having always been convinced of Dreyfus s guilt when new vidence came to light Picuart was forced to revisit the case and investigate the so called proof that convicted Dreyfus in the first place Doubts began to form in his mind and when he finally stumbled upon the truth he was tasked with the difficult responsibility of convincing the army of the French Republic to admit they had made a mistake Robert Harris s narrative skills are brilliant I admit that the fact that it was a true story and the scandal was an interesting one played a major role in me My Guilty Pleasure (Harlequin Blaze enjoying this as much as I did but it would not have been possible if it hadn t been for Harris s talent as a writer He has managed to put forth immensely complicated and chronologically confusingvents in the simplest and most intriguing way possible Dreyfus s imprisonment Picuart s plight and their subseuent hardship have been depicted with such raw Fatal Secrets (Protecting the Witnesses emotion I found it painful to read keeping in mind that these characters were actual people and their heartbreaking struggle was real I became attached to the characters I celebratedvery victory and mourned A Wanted Man (Silhouette Intimate Moments, every loss along with Picuart I felt like I was there through it all The back cover of the book calls the Dreyfus affair anpic scandal that continues to resonate today it is a sad commentary on the state of affairs of a government which valued political image over justice It has been a while since I ve felt such strong My Spy (Mission: Impassioned, emotions for a book and it almost seems to me thatvery book I read after this one is going to be dull in comparison So of course HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Who should read this book All who love spy novels All who love mysteries and thrillers All who are interested in the Dreyfus affair All who are interested in issues concerning anti Semitism All who Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs, enjoy GOOD historical fiction All who wouldnjoy a book set in Paris in the 1890s All interested in mile Zola or his The Baby Album essay J accuse All who want books that deliver historical facts in anngaging manner All who need a book that focuses on people that are willing to place themselves in danger for a cause they believe in Keep in mind that Georges Picuart was a real person and of course Dreyfus and Emile Zola and Picuart wanted justice to achieve justice he was willing to put himself in danger sacrifice his own career and Secret Agent Minister and Deadly Texas Rose even life How many people do that This book is an anti depressant when you are you are feeling down and outand for those of you who love audiobooks withxcellent narration David Rintoul s reading is simply superb The icing on the cake You do not have to meet all the criteria above any one of the criteria above is sufficient reason to choose this book Do you hear my Why Not Tonight (Happily Inc., enthusiasm I absolutely loved this book I have a new hero Georges Picuart What an amazing man The topic of the book is interesting The author turns historical figures into people you feelmpathy for The author presents historical facts and never are they dry He starts the book with a brief Her First Mother (Conveniently Wed, explanation of what is fact and what fiction He draws the feel of Paris in the 1890s And of course there are love affairs soirs the gas lights and the Welcome Home, Cowboy (Wed In The West, ever present stench of the sewage rats and filth It is all here To top it all off David Rintoul speaks French as the French do the names the streets the buildings the suares Men AND women his intonations are perfect for both You have never heard his narrations That is another reason to choose this audiobook simply to hear the marvelous narration I loved this book and it restored my faith in the genre historical fiction which had been going down the drain Thending is magnificent too sorry I keep thinking of things I must mentionAnd Georges Picuart I ADORE him What happened to Dreyfus is a must know but it should have been called the Dreyfus Picuart affair 45 stars There are occasions when losing is a victory so long as there is a fight This is an Snowbound Bride (Harlequin Men in Uniform Miniseries) excellent work of historical fiction based on a real life man of honor and duty French Army officer Georges Picuart and his determination to uncover the truth surrounding the arrest and conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in what is considered to be one of the greatest judicial debacles in history While France was still stunned by the victory of the Germans in the Franco Prussian war in 1870 hostilities distrust and anti Semitism were all heightened within the military and the people of the republic at the time this novel takes place the 1890s As a Jew an officer within the army and a man to be secretlynvied due to his independent wealth Captain Dreyfus was an Cowboys Baby (Ranching Family, easy target to accuse of treason when French secret intelligence discovered a traitor in their midst Major Georges Picuart was not immune to the feelings of bitterness and prejudices at the time of Dreyfus s conviction Having personally witnessed Dreyfus s military degradation which was attended by citizens and servicemen alike Picuart was only too glad to put his former student out of his mind once and for all I had no desire to see the condemned man again Only two yearsarlier he had been a student of mine in this very building Now I "Had Nothing To Say To "nothing to say to I felt nothing for him I wished he had never been born and I wanted him gone from Paris from France from Europe Picuart Between the Land and the Sea (Marinas Tales, even gets a promotion to Colonel following the degradation and conviction and is assigned to the position of commander of the Statistical Section the secret intelligence branch of the French Army Despite the fact that Picuart does not relishspionage something he considers dirty work he resigns himself to his new post and devotes himself to
His New Responsibilities When Picuartnew responsibilities When Picuart a spy in their midst he will begin to meticulously probe into the details of the Dreyfus case himself When a series of mistakes and subseuent cover ups are revealed Picuart is forced to choose between his reputation and career or the pursuit of justice In this pursuit Picuart learns that he will not have the support of the army and he too will fall under suspicion as his loyalti. D of ‘the Statistical Section’ – the shadowy intelligence unit that tracked down DreyfusThe spy meanwhile is given a punishment of medieval cruelty is shipped off to a lifetime of solitary confinement on Devil’s Island Dreyfus is forbidden to speak to anyone Gilligan Unbound even his guards and his case seems closed forverBut gradually Picuart comes to believe there is something rotten at the heart of the Statistical Section When he discovers another German spy operating on French soil his superiors are oddly reluct. .