Joseph Kessel, L'Armee des Ombres, Chronique de la Resistance. Pantheon Books, New York, 1944, edited by Jacques Schiffrin. 185x18mmm 266pp. Written in London, completed in the summer of 1943. Original red, white, and blue wrappers, and printed on a nice paper stock, and mostly unopened. Overall a nice production, in a "paperback" size but hardly a paperback format. Rather thick for this format, which usually means that the spine is cracked, though in this case, it is not. Very nice copy. About Fine. $75
Kessel (1898-1979) was a very interesting man of long accomplishment, a significant figure in the history of modern French literature, and a patriot, and a resistance fighter. He wrote this book using himself as a model for the main character (named "Philippe Gebier"), and used his experiences along with those of others to create this story of resistance--it seems that while the characters were composites, the overall story was real and accurate. As he states in the opening sentence of the book, "Il n'y a pas de propaganda dans ce livre et il n'y a pas de fiction" ("This is not a work of propaganda nor a work of fiction"). He makes it abundantly clear in this book that the absolute duty of all French citizens was civic disobedience and resistance, period.