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Resistance and Betrayal: The Death and Life…
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Resistance and Betrayal: The Death and Life of the Greatest Hero of the… (2000)

by Patrick Marnham

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631286,419 (3.5)None
Relates the story of Jean Moulin, the enigmatic and mythic hero of the French Resistance, describing his early life, his career during the war, the betrayal that led to his capture by the Nazis, and his heroic death.

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The problem with biographies of Jean Moulin is that he was such a secretive figure it's hard to build a page count out of him. One almost suspects the fury of controversal opinions on his 'true' political views and who betrayed the meeting in Caluire* has sprung up solely to help authors produce something longer than a phamplet.

Marnham does an able job over coming this using secondary sources. For example, it's known that Jean Moulin was a 'lord of misrule' for a while in his youth when he had to attend the same school where his father taught history. So in addition to what facts are known about those years, Marnham includes a quote from another person who was in the same position growing up: Graham Greene. He also quotes Thomas Merton's description of what such a school was like. This literary device does a good job of filling in the gaps.

All in all, a fascinating story told well and with rich details.

(*I say Malrux did it, in the library, with the candlestick. Man was just so eager to make that speech! ;-)
  willoughby | Sep 28, 2005 |
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Originally published in Great Britain as "The Death of Jean Moulin: Biography of a Ghost," by John Murray Publishers, London, 2001.
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Book description
The story of France's iconic Resistance hero, Jean Moulin. He was General DeGaulle's emissary and operated in a secretive and uncertain world. The book explores the possibilities of his betrayal to the Gestapo and death. Although tortured, he never gave up any information. His body was never found.


This work was originally published in Great Britain as The death of Jean Moulin: biography of a ghost, by John Murray (Publishers), London, in 2000

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