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In Defense of Lévy and Hope Now: A Minority View

Ronald E. Santoni

Abstract

By this time, most of us are only too familiar with the vehement denunciations of Benny Lévy and his allegedly manipulative, even pernicious, influence on Sartre during Sartre’s last ten years. In her biography of Sartre, Sartre: A Life, Annie Cohen-Solal highlights some of the attacks on Lévy: Roland Castro indicted him as “the least humanist of all leftists, a monster of cynicism and mysticism”; Olivier Todd charged him with the “corruption of an old man”; an ex-Maoist comrade characterized him as “a moralistic fool … capable of turning … an audience around with his perfect speeches and crushing intelligence.”

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