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on 1 August 2000
Penguin have taken their liberties in making unnecessary edits of this book. As they excuse themselves: "Unfortunately in the interest of economy certain pages relating to some of these figures have been deleted in the English edition."
On pages 198 - 199 there's a supposed quote from Lenin's lecture 'The State' of which the first two sentences are authentic, and the remainder are Camus's sarcastic commentary on them. This distinction is not visible in the Penguin edition.
These are just 2 examples. I give this book 1 star. Not because of Camus', whose writing would deserve far better, but because of Penguin's editing. Buy another edition!
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This is a review of the Vintage Edition.

Building on his former essay `The Myth of Sisiphus', where the view of an absurd world culminated in suicide, Albert Camus analyzes here rebellion against the absurd, the affirmation of life: `I rebel, therefore we exist'.
He examines critically metaphysical and historical rebellion for freedom and man's dignity. Moreover, he asks the all important question: why are rebellions mostly ending in (and justifying) murder, under the flag of freedom or reason (logical crimes) with philosophy as an alibi? For A. Camus, the will to power takes the place of the will to justice.

Metaphysical rebellion
The metaphysical rebel protests against his condition in the world, against the whole of the creation, its injustice and its evil, and also against death.
The father of all rebels is Prometheus (`see the injustice I have to endure').
The Marquis de Sade proclaims unbridled personal freedom, absolute negation and universal destruction. Stirner proclaims universal affirmation of the self, while Nietzsche proclaims active nihilism: every man has to make his own laws.
The surrealists also proclaim absolute personal freedom with `gratuitous acts' as satisfactions of one's instincts and one's unconscious.
All those metaphysical rebels want to control totally their own world and construct for them a pure terrestrial kingdom.

Historical rebellion
The history of man is the sum of his successive rebellions. Freedom and man's dignity are the motivating principles of all revolutions. But, when justice demands the suppression of freedom, terror consummates the revolution. Justice adopts violence and murder and the revolutionaries assume the responsibility of total guilt.

J.J. Rousseau formulated the concepts of the Republican State with law and order based on the general consent.
Saint-Just wanted the Republic to be totally cleansed of all alien elements.
Hegel's dialectic of master and slave (the conqueror is always right) culminates into the absolute State, `the reflection of the Spirit of the world in the mutual recognition of each by all.'

But, in the absolute State, the will to power replaced the will to justice.
Fascism dreamed of liberating a minority by subjugating the rest.
Building on Marx' prophesy of the abolition of the State, Lenin's professional revolutionaries organized Russian Communism aiming at liberating all men, but, by provisionally enslaving them all.

Overall, man's dignity and living standard (freedom) have only been served, not by doctrine, dogmas or abstract concepts, but by concrete revolutionary trade-unionism. Only by organizing the labor force and by strikes have the working conditions been mightily improved from a 16 hour work day to a forty hour work week.

Albert Camus expressed impressively his personal views on the history and the deadly dangerous human rebellious condition, which are still highly relevant today.
Not to be missed.
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on 30 October 2001
My following of Camus began back in 1999 during a summer holiday camp in France, I had recently read the Manic Street Preachers' official biography and there were many interesting references to Camus and his work throughout the book. I eventually borrowed "The Outsider" from the local library, and took a days rest at the holiday camp to sit down for a few hours, and read. Before I knew it I had finished "The Outsider" and thouroughly enjoyed it, although this book could not come near to what I had experienced with "The Rebel", which I began reading a year later.
"The Rebel" was written to "understand the times" we live in, which was always a very broad subject to conquer in one seperate book. "The Rebel" is a seperate side to Camus' creative spectrum, this time with a more philisophical attempt at writing, although strongly iterates that this work is not philisophical, and he attempts to use no rhetoric or persuasion in his work. The ground covers in this book has a simillar vague feel to that of religeous book. In fact, Camus directs a more professional outlook to issues that are usually combatted through questionable metaphore or mis-directed philosiphy. Instead of using this method, he uses logic to prove or disprove people's theories or opinions, never once criticizing others through his own beliefs.
Slavery and leadership is one of the key topics combatted in the book, and displays how much of an important ascpect on our lives these roles play. He questions our reasons to rebel against our leaders, what lengths we'll go to, to make our stands, why we do it and what the possible outcomes are to the rebellion. He goes on to look at the spectrum that could be considered the spectrum of our places in life, addressing fascism and wars to nihilists and rebellions of the past.
Albert Camus offers no solutions, only options. This book discards the fictional creativity that people who have read "The last man" and "The Outsider" will have noticed, with literature offering his ideas. "The Rebel" is strictly in essay form, and describes so many aspects of life, always keeping to the main point "rebellion". Overall I found this book highly interesting (so much so, I have read it about 9 times since) and I'm sure any reader will appreciate Camus' ability to clarify such a vague topic, using masses of logical reason. I highly recomend this book to anyone with an open mind, or someone who seeks non-biased guidance on many aspects of life.
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on 17 May 2012
The way I understand this book, which I've only read once: in order to be free, to understand oneself, one first has to discard one's baggage: religion, authourity, even lovers. "What is a rebel? A man who says no. He is also a man who says yes as soon as he starts thinking for himself." Camus goes on to debunk the myths of the French and Russian revolutions while still celebrating the idealism. For Camus, freedom cannot exist without truth and without justice. "Freedom cannot be imagined without the power of saying clearly what is just". A book that I clearly need to read again.
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on 7 February 2008
This book explains why people rebel so well I've never understood myself better after reading it.All the motivation and emotions that can go through your mind if you are of a certain nature are explained here, as well as it documenting the history of dissent.If your an angry young or old person or have ever felt persecuted for what ever views you may have read this as comfort in your lonely hours.
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on 28 June 2015
An important book. Very relevant today
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on 28 September 2014
Brilliant thank you!
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on 18 December 2014
Made me think a lot
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on 10 September 2014
Good literary work
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on 7 December 2015
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