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Andre Malraux: A Biography Hardcover – April, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Fromm Intl; 1st. ed edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880641711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880641715
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,741,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

If Cate's gripping biography had been available November 23, 1996, when Malraux's remains joined those of Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, and Zola in the Pantheon, readers would have been even more bewildered by the burial site. An adventurer who always got photographed next to the Great Man, Malraux emerges here as a cause for marvel rather than admiration. Cate (George Sand, 1975. o.p.) is exhaustive in ferreting out documents of the interwar period at sites, whether in fact or fiction, of Malraux's exploits (e.g., Cochin-China, China, Turkey, Yemen, Spain, Vichy, and postwar France). Hardly a fan, Cate appears to have had the cooperation of all personal survivors and recognized members of the Malraux academic establishment. He cannot account for this constantly agitating Communist's becoming an eloquent Gaullist, and his evidence suggests that Malraux was a brilliant opportunist who became the "mythomaniac" depicted in his novels. Cate presumes considerable knowledge of 20th-century French literature and European history on the part of readers. For French literature and academic collections.?Marilyn Gaddis Rose, SUNY at Binghamton
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It is no coincidence that the hero of the recent film The English Patient resembles in many of his adventurous ways Andre Malraux. It is so because Malraux personifies the romantic ideal--the man of dangerous action and lofty thought. Cate fills in the opaque areas and strips away the murky places in the life of a legendary figure quite admirably: the often misunderstood raid on a Cambodian temple and the subsequent three-year sentence for plundering art; the excursion to find the capital of the queen of Sheba; the famous novels, for example, La Condition Humaine (Man's Fate) for which he won the Goncourt; his role in mobilizing the world against Nazism; his daring Resistance work in 1944; and his career in French government with the de Gaulle administration. Cate's rendition of the engage intellectual is stimulating and undeniably informative, a combination that will send readers to his other works, particularly Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1973) and George Sands (1975). Bonnie Smothers

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else." Given this quote by Andre Malraux, one is left with a sense of wonder, after reading this fascinating biography. As I contemplate the man's actions and involvements, over the course of his lifetime, I try to come up with a clear definition of who he actually was. Malraux, a man who made such an impact on French culture and on the political scene of his time, was a novelist, critic, journalist, archaeologist, financial speculator, and political figure. He was a complex man, and an adventurer. In this extremely readable biography, Curtis Cate attempts to correct the image of Malraux as a heroic, committed activist and intellectual. Cate, however, does not delve deeply enough into how the political, cultural and social environment of the times impacted Malraux, and the biography comes up short as a consequence. I was left bewildered, occasionally, without an understanding of why Malraux made some of his choices, especially in politics, and Cate appears to be equally at a loss. The author covers a wide spectrum of material in this biography, and though he fails to draw credible conclusions in many instances, the nature of his subject alone makes reading this book an extraordinary experience.
Andre Malraux was born in Paris and was raised by his mother and grandmother. His parents were divorced. His father committed suicide in 1930. Malraux studied Oriental languages at the Ecole des Langues Orientales, although he did not graduate. At the age of 21 he left for Cambodia with his wife Clara Goldsmith. He was arrested and almost imprisoned for stealing a bas relief from the temple at Bantai Srey. The book details this "youthful" archeological expedition.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Odegard on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well-researched, quite well-written biography for those who seek details (sometimes TOO detailed for me)of the life of this amazing person.
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