Clocking barely below 30 pages, "Indignez-vous!" is a short, impactful political pamphlet for the times. It reads like the words of an awe-inspiring grandfather, speaking gently to France's grandchildren of WW2 and compelling them to find reasons to rise up peacefully.
If I had read this work by itself two years ago, chances are I would have merely dismissed it as idealistic and incomplete. Sure, Hessel's life is a true inspiration, and his call to feel outrage at the way we treat the less fortunate of the world (the Rom in Europe, Palestinians, immigrants) truly does make your heart beat faster. But at the time of publication, it must have felt like a lucid but helpless call for political action in Sarkozy's France.
But in the wake of the Arab Spring, the Spanish Indignados (who take their names after this book) and now Occupy Wall Street, Hessel might yet prove to be both prescient and at the forefront of a renewed world solidarity movement. And reading his pamphlet now, in the light of what it has contributed to conjure from the apathy of the masses... It makes you want to take to the streets, filled with outrage and pride like our forefathers.