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Sartre and Camus: A Historic Confrontation Hardcover – March 1, 2004

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Sartre and Camus: A Historic Confrontation + Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Humanity Books (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159102157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591021575
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,880,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


" drawn into the issues raised by these two great thinkers...their debate is still with us..." --

"...exemplary collection...includes pertinent documents and essays by American scholars giving the background and context of the fallout." -- The Nation, April 5, 2004

"Even for someone familiar with the dispute...the dossier of materials assembled will prove a revelation." -- Bookforum, Spring 2004

About the Author

David A. Sprintzen (Syosset, NY) is professor of philosophy at C. W. Post College of Long Island University and the author of Camus: A Critical Examination.
Adrian van den Hoven (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) is professor of French at the University of Windsor, executive editor of Sartre Studies International, and translator of Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Lévy’s Hope Now: The 1980 Interviews and of J.-P. Sartre’s Truth and Existence.

More About the Author

Novelist, playwright, and biographer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) is widely considered one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. His major works include "No Exit," "Nausea," "The Wall," "The Age of Reason," "Critique of Dialectical Reason," "Being and Nothingness," and "Roads to Freedom," an allegory of man's search for commitment, and not, as the man at the off-licence says, an everyday story of French country folk.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By jerry kendall on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not only does this book contain the original articles that comprise one of the great intellectual debates of the last century, it also has very helpful contextual commentary by the editors.

One can substitute terrorism for Stalinism and the debate is, if you will forgive the cliche, as current as the headlines. But it most certainly is not at all like the sound bite debates of Cross Fire. Great breath and depth in the arguments of the participants - anguished arguments about the relationships between means and ends, justice and freedom; and finally personal responsibility.

Camus corectly sees Stalinism, read terrorism, an an unmitigated evil. Yet, he sought to live as neither victim nor executioner. That caused him no end of grief, especially as he confronted the Algerian situation. Nevertheless his arguments call to mind the views of the Polish and Czech dissidents in the 80s. An anti-politics, a living "as if" one were free. No crusade to eliminate evil from the earth, no war; rather a third way.

Sartre on the other hand saw Stalinism as an understandable, even necessary, response to the injustice inflicted on the wretched of the earth. His understanding of human nature, dare one use that term in discussing Sartre, was such that chioce was required in all circumstances. By this time, in Sartre's thinking, no third way was possible. If the choice is between victim or executioner, he would choose executioner.

Sartre is correct, one must choose. Camus is correct, there is a third way. Enter the debate if you dare. There is no easy exit.
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By Donald F. Donahue on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
An excellent treatment of the historic confrontation between Sartre and Camus following Camus' publication of The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt and the venomous review of the book in Sartre's Temps Modernes periodical. The book contains all of the source documents, published in full in English for the first time, plus background material from the editors and interpretive analyses from two scholars (one more favorable to Sartre and the other more favorable to Camus). This, in combination with Ronald Aronson's Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It provides a full picture of their celebrated "falling out."
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