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Bad Faith: A History of Family and Fatherland: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland Paperback – 5 Apr 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Thus edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099498286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099498285
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A superb exploration of the fractured mind of French anti-Semitism" (Simon Heffer Literary Review)

"The story she has uncovered is so strange and powerful that it would be an unusual reader who was not profoundly moved" (Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday)

"A work of phenomenally thorough, generous and humane scholarship....Callil understands anguish, and lays bare its causes with clarity and precision. Bad Faith exemplifies what Primo Levi called the 'continuous intellectual and moral effort' that is the only adequate response to the events described here" (Hilary Spurling Daily Telegraph)

"Bad Faith is a book of passion and anger which, nonetheless, manages to keep it's head as a significant work of history" (Mark Bostridge Independent on Sunday)

"We cannot know what Anne Darquier would have thought of Callil's book, but my guess is that she would have been as moved, astonished and impressed as any other reader" (Ruth Scurr The Times)

Book Description

The story of one of history's most despicable villians told by a brilliant author - shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book a year ago after hearing the author interviewed on the radio, and finally got around to reading it in the last couple of weeks. It's a big book in so many ways. The early chapters are packed with detail and require concentration, but the work is rewarded on so many levels. The intimacy of the story draws the reader in, the portraits of the real life people are absolutely compelling, and the research is minute and painstaking. The tale of how liars and fantasists came to hold high office, how inept collaborationists ran Vichy France through the war, and how the result was death and persecution on an enormous scale, provides a pertinent warning in this age when the far right is re-emerging across Europe and rewriting its past. Finally, this is the best written use of the English language I have read for a long time. Please read it and learn the lessons. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover
Louis Darquier was an extraordinarily unattractive character who rose to high office in France in the late 1930s and 1940s. His main qualification was an obsessional hatred of the Jews who, he believed, were undermining French life and culture. He inevitably came into his own when France was defeated by Germany and he rose to high office by virtue of his obsession. He had few redeeming features. He was personally violent and very dishonest. Perhaps the best that could be said is that he was incompetent and this reduced the amount of damage that he could inflict.
This is not a pleasant story but it is well told and provides a first rate insight into France in the mid 20th century. If one wonders how many Frenchmen could become complicit with the Nazis at that time the book provides at least part of the answer - sadly there were people like Darquier.
Well worth reading if you are interested in mid-20th century France, Nazism or human wickedness.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After the first 100 pages, I realised that I'd read this book before!! Truthfully, there is an amount of text that is largely superfluous. But it does paint a true picture of the extent of the collaboration and anti-Semitism that existed in Occupied France from 1940 onwards.
Brilliantly researched and in great--too great??--detail, the reader should be left with an incredulity that the main character actually died in his bed some 20 years after the end of the war, having escaped to the security of Franco's Fascist Spain.

It does put the reader in the place of the "average " French citizen during the Occupation. If you wanted to live, eat, survive and your family too, what would you have done? Read Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky
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Format: Paperback
I am an avid WWII reader and knew of the Vichy governments crimes but nothing of this scale and tyranny. Louis Darquier was such an immense villain that it took the Nazi atrocities to cover up and take the spot light off his own crimes. It is not often mentioned that it may have been the Nazi's and Hitler setting the rules but other people were giving the orders.
This book is very detailed and thorough and will go down as the text to read on this subject. Some of the stories are so surreal you will find yourself wondering how it took place, if anyone needed proof of if it was justified to go to war then this is it.
Throughout the book it jumps between years which was at some points hard to follow but other than that it was a very good book and worth a read.
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By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I would like to echo the other reviewer's comments on this excellent book. It tells of the story of the anti- Semitic, cowardly and thoroughly unlikable Louis Darquier and the way he takes advantage of the situation in France and most notably the detested Vichy regime for self advancement at the vast expense of others.

He meets and marries an alcoholic fantasist (from Tasmania interestingly) called Myrtle Jones and they have a child who becomes a bit of an encumbrance not to mention a drag on their finite resources, so they bundle her off to a `nanny' in England and to all intents and purposes abandon her, except to use her plight as emotional black mail to extort money from her Australian relatives. Her story is woven into that of the Darquiers and is genuinely moving.
Lois Darquier becomes a Nazi collaborator and `Commissioner for Jewish Affairs', and is responsible for sending thousands of Jews to their deaths, sadly he escaped justice along with his equally as culpable wife.

This book is excellently researched, beautifully written and historically spot on, it thoroughly and succinctly addresses the `International Jewish Conspiracy' and exposes it for the myth it truly was and does so in an objective way. Anyone interested n the more obscure stories from history will find this book an absolute treasure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carmel Callil has written an extraordinary well researched book. This powerful book tells the story not only of the paid French collaborator spy and anti-semite Louis Darquier but also shines a strong light on the Vichy government and its responsibility for the deaths of thousands of French and non French innocents in the gas chambers. The growth of French anti-semitism is well treated. Anti-semitism was well rooted in French society even among high ranking Catholic Clergy and wealthy business men. The contention that the battle between extreme right and other forces , during and after the war, was a continuation of the French Revolution is well made. The human story and the anguish of some members of the Darquier family and those close to the family was to live on long after the war. The evil perpetrated by the main protagonists, Petain, Weygand, Laval etc remained buried for years. This story needed to be told lest we forget. People who live in dark rooms planning their next utopia and their neighbours hell need to be reminded that they will be called to account if not in this world certainly in the next. This book has done such a complete job on uncovering the evil that men do that one would hope that humans might learn. My thanks to Carmel Callil for a great masterpiece.
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