Magazine December 15, 2008, Issue

Left Behind

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (Regis Duvignau/Reuters)
Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism, by Bernard-Henri Lévy (Random House, 256 pp., $25) 

A curious thing happened as I was reading Bernard-Henri Lévy’s latest book: I found myself moved.

It begins with an account of a phone call from Nicolas Sarkozy in March 2007. Lévy recalls Sarkozy’s triumphant tone as he asked whether Lévy had seen André Glucksmann’s article in Le Monde. Glucksmann, like Lévy a prominent intellectual of the kind France particularly treasures and like Lévy a man of the Left, had just announced his support for Sarkozy against the pretty socialist airhead Ségolène Royal. “Let’s get to the point,” Sarkozy says to Lévy, cutting him off in mid-pleasantry. “When

Claire Berlinski — Berlinski is a journalist who lives in Istanbul. She is the author of Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too, and There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.

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