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Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Excellent condition dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover. / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: Bloomsbury USA / Pub. Date: 2008-09-02 Attributes: Book, 370 pp / Illustrations: B&W Photographs Stock#: 2056540 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Resistance: A Frenchwoman's Journal of the War Hardcover – September 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596915595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596915596
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Translated into English after more than 60 years of near-obscurity, Humbert's firsthand account of her work for the resistance in occupied Paris and her subsequent arrest and deportation to a forced-labor camp in Germany is an invaluable addition to works highlighting the role of women during wartime. At the fall of Paris, Humbert verges on despondency until she hears de Gaulle's broadcast calling for all Frenchmen to carry on the struggle. Prompted to action, she begins networking, bringing together some of the key figures of the resistance, including Boris Vildé and Pierre Brossolette, with whose help she and others produce the underground liberation newspaper, Résistance. But the indelibility of the human spirit is most fully revealed in Humbert's account of her imprisonment, during which she retains her dignity amid the humiliating circumstances through small, individual acts of resistance such as sabotaging the work she does in the labor camps. She also provides heartfelt testament to numerous other women in the prison, many of whom were arrested for helping French and British soldiers escape. In a fair-minded account, Humbert relays the atrocities of the Third Reich as well as the sympathy of some of the camp inmates' captors (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—From the very first word of this spellbinding diary, readers are transported to Paris, June 1940, with a bright and articulate founder of the Resistance movement. An art historian, Humbert joined forces with her colleagues, creating and bravely distributing an underground newspaper they named Résistance. Through her detailed and intimate diary entries, the author gives a mesmerizing, day-to-day picture of the movement. After being betrayed to the Germans, she was put in a stark, cold cell in a French prison, where she was interrogated; she never betrayed her colleagues, several of whom, she learned, were executed. After many months, she was taken to a labor camp and forced to work for years in horrific conditions on starvation rations, with increasingly poor health. Humbert exhibited spirit, courage, and determination to resist the Germans, sabotaging whatever she was forced to make in the factories they turned into labor camps, never losing sight of her fellow prisoners' needs as she struggled to keep up hope and survive. After being liberated by the Americans, she put herself in charge of her former captors and helped the Americans deal with the initial horrors left by the Germans. The book includes a detailed appendix of documents on the Resistance and 32 pages of translator's notes that put the author's comments in historical context. Humbert's wit and bravery, her charisma, will draw teens into this remarkable account.—Ellen Bell, Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Fascinating book - excellent and important read - five stars. 
Buddha Baby
I found it hard to believe that things could get any worse for them, but when they were moved to a German work camp, what had come before paled by comparison.
zibilee
I consider this to be one of the most amazing accounts of WWII and the French Resistance that I've ever read.
Stephen A. Boni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By zibilee VINE VOICE on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Résistance is the harrowing journal and memoir of Agnès Humbert, a middle-aged art historian in Paris, and her experiences in Nazi occupied France during WWII. When Humbert first hears the rumors of an occupation, she is distraught and numb, but soon finds a strong will of opposition inside her. She begins to contact others who are like-minded and is soon embroiled in producing Résistance, a newspaper filled with propaganda, which she and her colleagues distribute anywhere and everywhere they can. Agnès meets several important contacts and knows that danger is only a heartbeat away, for if the Germans find out about her anti-Nazi sentiments and activities, she will be imprisoned. Though she knows the dangers, she continues with her work, only to be brought in for questioning regarding her activities. Following her eventual trial, Agnès is convicted and sent to prison. What ensues is the heart-breaking story of what she was subjected to after being becoming a political prisoner in France, and later Germany.

The first section of this book was given over to the specifics and details of who and what her group of friends did in opposition to the German invasion. Many were implicated, yet as her journal was never found, Agnès was not the cause of any imprisonments or executions. Unfortunately, many of the people responsible for Résistance were tried and convicted anyway. I found this section to be a little dry and methodical. It almost seemed that this part of the book acted as a type of ledger of information, rather than a chronicle. Many of the people were only briefly mentioned, and I had some trouble in understanding who was who and what part they played in the opposition.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By W. P. seeberg on September 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I remember reading this book years ago in the original French when I was a student, and I find it amazing that such an important primary source on the French Resistance and German occupation of France has taken sixty years to be translated. Agnes Humbert's sheer tenacity in banding together with her comrades to publish and distribute the illegal anti-German newspaper Résistance is a riveting profile in courage, yet Humbert never really draws any attention to her heroism, presenting her actions merely as what was required of a moral, patriotic person in a conflict where there were only two sides: for the Nazis or against them.

I agree with the previous reviewer that the second half of the book detailing Humbert's arrest and imprisonment is more interesting, better written, and overall more compelling than the early sections, which are indeed dry and expository. Which brings me to my only real objection to this very useful addition to the English-language literature on the civilian experience of the war: the publishers should have gone to greater lengths to commission a truly spirited and detailed introductory essay orienting the lay reader (or, more importantly, college students) to the timeline and chain of events in the Nazi takeover of France, the division into Vichy and German-administered provinces, etc. I think there is a great deal of room for confusion here for people unfamiliar or only vaguely familiar with the historical background.

Nonetheless, it's wonderful to know that this book is now available in English (and in a very nice, fluid translation)--a great addition to the reading list for any college course on WWII.
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Format: Hardcover
I came across Agnés Humbert's Résistance completely by accident while browsing the "New in Hardcover" section in Barnes & Noble one day, but rarely have I been more grateful for following my instincts on an unfamiliar book and author. From the moment I picked it up this book has haunted me. Too compelling to put down, but too harrowing to read straight through without breaks to recover emotionally, reading this book became a delicious struggle between my need to continue and my desire to stop and reflect.

Résistance begins with Agnés Humbert's actual journal entries from the summer of 1940 and the beginning of the Nazi occupation of Paris. She describes the conception and birth of the French Resistance from a completely new point of view, almost as if it was a game she and her friends invented to annoy the Nazis. But it is the very casual way in which she describes certain horrors that brings home to the reader the atrocities of the Nazi occupiers. Her descriptions of the bravery, strength and loyalty of her compatriots brought tears to my eyes.

The later portion of the book, after Humbert's arrest, are also written in journal form, but these entries were written just after her release when the war ended. She writes "my memories are so clear that I am able to commit them to paper as they happened and in strict sequence. I remember everything as clearly as though it were written in notebooks". This portion of the book is truly an intimate look into the life of a prisoner of war, and you get the impression that as gut-wrenching as Agnés' experiences are, she actually got off somewhat easily compared to the treatment of so many other prisoners in Nazi camps.
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