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You Shall Know Them
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You Shall Know Them

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  18 reviews
You Shall Know Them by Vercors, published in the USA in 1953 by Little, Brown & Company, was an attack of racism that also, as it happens, is a good read.
Vercors, more famous for publishing things during WW II that made the Nazis unhappy, set his sights in this book on the insanity of the mid-20th-century debates about whether black people were as fully human as white
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Hardcover, 249 pages
Published 1953 by Little, Brown & Company (Boston) (first published January 1st 1952)
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Paul
This is an odd novel which does not fall easily into any camp. It is gripping and difficult to put down, it has deep flaws, but raises interesting questions. The sory is a simpla one.
A man (Douglas Templemore) calls a doctor early one morning to ask him to look at a fairly newborn child. The doctor notes he is too late as the child is dead. Douglas affirms this is what he wants the doctor to confirm as he has recently injected the child with strychnine chlorhydrate. The police are called and as
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Jim
What a strange book! A satire on the subject of such topics as infanticide and what it means to be human, written by a Frenchman, set in England, almost in the style of the Ealing comedies such as Kind Hearts and Coronets and School for Scoundrels. Vercors is, however, definitely a Frenchman, and I would have to read more of his work to find out just how French he was -- though his role in the Resistance during World War Two should tip the scales somewhat.

In You Shall Know Them, there are two he
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Dagny
There were a couple of parts which dragged for me, but not enough to reduce the rating. The overall book and the premise made this a very memorable read.
Cheryl
Gosh, hmm.. 3.5 stars. Of course SF abounds with novels about the nature of man. And this one is a little weak, in some ways, because there's lots of talk and not much action - the reader doesn't even meet the tropis. But I really liked the talk, the ideas, the conflicts of philosophical and political and zoological considerations.

Is man defined by his sense of spirituality? If a species has taboos, rituals, or ju-jus, is it human? Or is he defined by his relationship to nature? If he's one wit
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Dan
Feb 13, 2008 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Fictional story exploring what it means to be human. It brought up a few interesting questions in my mind. What if there is a being that looks nothing like a human but has the mental and communication capabilities of a human? Should it have human rights? What if there is a being that looks exactly human but has none of the mental capabilities of a human? Should it have human rights? What defines a human?
artu
It has its flaws, but raises interesting questions and although it was written in the 50s it feels like the 19th century.. :-/

Fast-paced and provocative.

The plot is very simple, but you can not stop thinking about it after you have read it
Horvallis
Qu'est-ce qui sépare l'homme de l'animal ? Telle est la question soulevée par ce livre qui n'a pas pris une ride.
Elisabeth
Version française: Les animaux dénaturés

Publié en 1952

Thème: Qu'est-ce qu'un homme ?

Roman philosophique écrit après la deuxième guerre mondiale par un ancien résistant (Vercors est un nom de code dans la Résistance). Fondateur des éditions de Minuit, l'auteur était politiquement engagé. Il s'est opposé à la guerre en Algérie et à l'utilisation de la torture par l'armée française.

Le roman raconte la découverte du chaînon manquant, les Tropis, population aborigène vivante de Nouvelle-Guinée, qui e
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Paul
A fast-paced and sometimes provocative novel of ideas.

My attention was drawn to this book by a mention made of it by the late philosopher Mortimer J. Adler in some of his writing on the Great Idea of Man. Adler, who developed the list of 102 (later 103) Great Ideas that are presented as part of the Britannica Great Books series, taught that the Great Ideas are great because they are perennially controversial: their internal difficulties keep ramifying in new directions, opening up new avenues of
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Laura
An unusual book about the 'missing link' creature and what its discovery-- as a living species-- could do to soceity. Raises interesting questions about the meaning of life/us/etc, like it was intended to-- but sometimes these questions overwhelm the rest of the story. No one is very fully characterised, characters are sort of slapped around and treated as tools to introduce important questions (there's no closure for any of them but the main two), and the translation is very spotty.

Also: while
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Pascale
An excellent conte philosophique, playful in style and meaty in in content. It tackles no lesser a question than "what is man?" with vigor and wit, while, surprisingly enough, the love story thrown in for light relief has some reality. Although science has made much progress in the 1/2 century since this was first published, it remains astonishingly readable and relevant.
Fulya Girginer
Soysuzlaşmış Hayvanlar ismiyle Türkçe baskısını ancak Nadir Kitap'ta bulabildim. Edebi olarak sarıp sarmalamıyor ama çok temel sorular soruyor. Basit ve derin.
Jackie
Jun 04, 2007 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I'm not usually a big fan of sci-fi ish books but this one is really wonderful bc it has more to do with ethics than fantasy and role playing--which is what I usually think of when the word "sci-fi" is brought up.

Reccomended to me by Jon Stewart's father who was a professor of mine in college for the now deceased requirement of "Society, Ethnics and Technology."

I don't really remember much about the plot except that I read the whole thing in two days and I thought it was just brilliant.
Martin
Boring, badly written. Superficial arguments and lack of specialized knowledge which would be necessary to engage in a serious discussion such as what differentiates humans from animals.
Erik Graff
Apr 29, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adolescents
Recommended to Erik by: Lajla Stousland
Shelves: literature
This is one of the very many books read at the family cottage in Michigan because I had nothing of my own left to read and had to go to the stuff left there by my paternal grandmother after her annual month-long vacation with mother, little brother and me. Being an animal lover, I enjoyed this book even though I don't thing I caught all of the socio-political satire at the time.
Unwordy
Peamistele probleemidele rusikas-näkku-aga-varjulises-trepikojas stiilis tähelepanu suunav novell-õpik semiootikuhakatistele, iduna algavatele poststrukturalistidele ja ontoloogidele.

"Ja veel mõtles ta, et alles teiste inimeste arutuse najal tajud omaenese arutluste arukust."
Rachida
Un conte philosophique aussi puissant que Candide de Voltaire! A lire et à relire!
Marie-pier
OSTIE DE BON LIVRE, merci xavier!
Filip Milosavljević
Filip Milosavljević marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Milica Micic
Milica Micic marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Osmyska
Osmyska marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
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102555
Vercors was the pen name of Jean Marcel Bruller, taken from a French province where Bruller fought during the early stages of the Second World War. During the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940s, Vercors/Bruller co-founded the clandestine publishing operation Les Éditions de Minuit (The Midnight Press) and was a key literary figure in the Resistance.
More about Vercors...
Le Silence de la mer Sylva Zoo Ou L'assassin Philanthrope Le Silence de la Mer et Autres Récits The Raft of the Medusa

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