The French edition of Time for Outrage!, Quartet’s new little book, has caused a sensation in France since being published last October.
It has broken all records in its country of origin by selling 1.3 million copies in just four months.
The author Stéphane Hessel was born in Germany in 1917, emigrated with his Jewish writer father and mother to France in 1924 and fought in the French Army in 1940. From a German prisoner of war camp, he escaped to join Charles de Gaulle’s Free French in London. On his return to organise the Resistance in France, he was captured, tortured and sent to concentration camps. He survived to work after the war on drafting the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose ideals he defends passionately to this day.
The most evocative critique of Time for Outrage! came from Libération in Paris, encapsulating the essence of the book:
‘Like a song you hum or a film you recommend to friends, Indignez-Vous! crystallises the spirit of the time. To buy it is a militant act, a gesture towards community and participation in a collective emotion.’
The German edition has already sold over 100,000 in two weeks – and is still going strong.
Let us hope Quartet’s English edition will out-do the German, with its most enlightening Foreword by Charles Glass, the well-known American journalist and author.