An Officer and A Spy

An Officer and A Spy

Book - 2013
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Paris. 1895. On a freezing January morning, the Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, is stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000, and deported for life to Devil's Island.Among those watching his humiliation is a high-flying intelligence officer, the clever and resourceful Georges Picquart, whose dangerous love affairs leave him wide open to blackmail.A few months later, Picquart discovers the Germans still have a spy operating in France. He mounts a sophisticated surveillance operation to trap the traitor. But the results are far more alarming than he ever expected, opening up a trail of corruption and deceit that leads him all the way to the highest ranks of the French army and government. Now, in a vividly-written secret memoir kept under lock and key for more than 100 years, Picquart brings to life the Paris of the 1890s and tells the true story of a scandal that mesmerised the world.
Publisher: London : Hutchinson, c2013.
ISBN: 9780091944551
Characteristics: 483 pages ;,24 cm

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h
historyhawk
May 26, 2019

the Dreyfus affair.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jan 25, 2019

The notorious Dreyfus Affair!

m
Manuel
Oct 29, 2018

A truly fascinating account of the after-effects of the decision to condemn Alfred Dreyfus to a lifetime of exile on Devil's Island. All the characters are real, as are all or most of the events. Robert Harris' portrayal of the higher-ups in the French army of the time are harrowing, to say the least, because he has, perhaps unwittingly, predicted today's events in such places as the United States: contrary to being a paragon of sense, honesty and truth, the French army's generals are determined "at all costs" to leave Dreyfus to rot on Devil's Island. We know the outcome: Dreyfus was eventually exonerated, mainly due to the untiring efforts of Col. Georges Picquart, to say nothing of Émile Zola. The anti-Semitic nature of the French society of the time is accurately drawn. Harris has done a really masterful job with this historical fiction. At first, I was unsure if I would continue with the book (I don't much like thrillers), but as I read page after page I became drawn into the story, and I'm very glad that I did! Easily a 5-star book.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 03, 2018

This was my first novel finished in 2018 and the rest of the books of 2018 will have a lot to live up to. I was absolutely enthralled with the characters and the fact that most of this is completely true is mind-boggling. I kept going to encyclopedias and other records when it seemed to be too cloak and dagger, only to find that Harris stuck quite closely to the facts. Tragic and captivating, I highly recommend this no matter your genre preference!

e
edlyn700
Jul 25, 2017

I was expecting this to be rather dry but Robert Harris managed to make it very interesting. I highly recommend this.

t
tjdickey
Feb 16, 2017

Good and classy historical fiction, with strong elements of espionage and courtroom drama. Harris has a knack for getting inside the heart of human emotions - and all-too-human prejudices.

b
becker
Aug 09, 2016

Spies, treason, political corruption, conspiracy and 19th century courtroom drama all based around the infamous true life Dreyfus Affair in France in 1895. This is an interesting piece of history transformed into a very well told work of fiction.

e
eappelbaum
Jul 25, 2016

A touching an exciting book. The most important thing I realized is that to the bigots, truth means nothing.

z
zipread
Jun 15, 2016

An Officer and a Spy --- by --- Robert Harris.
Slow to start but becoming more and more involving until it finally gets you to indignation and red anger, this historical novel is about the Dreyfus case, a story and a scandal that shook and tore France at the end of the nineteenth century. This is a tale of anti-Semitism, deceit, cover-up and incompetence on a massive scale that almost anticipates what would be raised to a high art form in the Soviet Union, communist China, and the Third Reich. It is the story of one man who attempts to set all this malfeasance to right but who is outfoxed and out schemed at every turn. “Officer” fleshes out what, to me at least, has simply been a dry footnote to French history.

h
hrhhall
May 22, 2016

It starts slow, almost chucked it during the first disk as a fin de ciecle fluff piece, but unfolds like a John Le Carre novel, only it is true. An amazing piece of history well told. God forbid the establishment ever have to admit it's follies.

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