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The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach
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The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
On February 6, 1945, Robert Brasillach was executed for treason by a French firing squad. He was a writer of some distinction—a prolific novelist and a keen literary critic. He was also a dedicated anti-Semite, an acerbic opponent of French democracy, and editor in chief of the fascist weekly Je Suis Partout, in whose pages he regularly printed wartime denunciations of Jew ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by University Of Chicago Press (first published April 20th 2000)
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Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Οι Αμερικανοί είναι μανούλες στη δημιουργία δραματοποιημένων ντοκιμαντέρ, ειδικά δικαστικού χαρακτήρα. Κάτι τέτοιο είναι και το βιβλίο αυτό (στα ελληνικά, από εκδόσεις Μοντέρνοι Καιροί, «ο άνθρωπος του εχθρού»). Γραμμένο από μιαν ιστορικό, δεν είναι βιβλίο ιστορίας. Δεν είναι (ευτυχώς;) ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα. Μοιάζει κάπως με ρεπορτάζ, με δραματοποιημένη ιστορική έρευνα. Θα μπορούσε να λέγεται και «Πορτρέτο ενός φασίστα» ή «Στο μυαλό ενός φασίστα» ή «Η δίκη ενός φασίστα» ή «Τι να (μην) κάνετε σε ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an important if uncomfortable book. What is the progressive response to free speech in collaborative terms of Occupation? Should Celine have been shot? These are whimsical questions in lieu of a concerted response. I think the procedural response to the Brasillach affair deserves attention.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Alice Kaplan is pretty cool with the idea that Robert Brasillach was shot to death for his words. Would she have happily been one of the twelve designated killers on the sixth of February 1945? I would like to think she might balk at pulling the trigger itself, but judging from her book, the only reason she wouldn’t is if she could have had the benefit of foresight: knowing that the contemporary Right of France would not have him as a martyr. The most chilling, revealing moment for this kind of ...more
Oct 10, 2010 rated it liked it
This book's full title is The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach. After reading Sarah's Key, I was interested in learning more about life in Vichy France and a family member recommended this one (thanks Uncle Gary!). Robert Brasillach was a fascist French writer during World War II and was the only writer of any significance to be executed for treason following World War II. This book recounts his career as a writer, his anti-Semitism, his opposition to the French governm ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Despite some notable lapses during WWI and the McCarthy era, the Supreme Court has more often than not gone to great lengths to protect free speech, including that of neo-Nazis, the KKK and flag-burners. I wonder, though what the Justices of the time would have made of the anti-Semitic rantings of the French writer Robert Brasillach, who was convicted of treason and executed after WWII. In effect, the French Court concluded that Brasillach's writings had the same evil effect as the actions of Ad ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am not impressed by this book -- I always pull the trigger early, so take fwiw. The topic, the trial of Brasillach is really too narrow to hold my interest - Brasillach himself is a thoroughly mediorcre and neurotic figure. The more general, opening chapter - on the "making of a fascist writer" is itself quite mediocre and a missed opportunity.
Dec 18, 2006 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction

Chronicles the life and trial of Robert Brasillach, a prolific and controversial French critic who was executed for treason, at age 35, after France's liberation from the Nazis. A fascist-leaning writer known for his defense of Nazi crimes, he was the only distinguished writer put to death by the postwar French government.
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book examining the responsibility of artists in relation to politics. Brasillach was the only writer executed for collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. Details the trial, the evidence. Turns out that Brasillach not only fully collaborated but in a newspaper he edited regularly posted details that he heard about where people wanted by the Germans were hiding out.
Zach Opsitnick
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting read about someone in WWII that many people don't know about. Was it the right decision to make? That's hard to say now, so far removed from the event. But you'll definitely form a strong opinion one way or the other after the read.
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, thorough, thoughtful review of the complex case of Brassillach's acts and fate. History, right to speech, politics, anb philosophical questions all abound in this well done book.
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the 2001 RUSA Notable Books winners. For the complete list, go to
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