André Malraux: A Biography

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Fromm International Publishing Corporation, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 451 pages
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Often hailed as a "Renaissance man" for the astounding diversity of his activities, Andre Malraux was a living legend long before his death in 1976. Few French writers of this century have aroused such heated controversy and none, during a stormy lifetime, ever achieved greater international renown as a "hero" in deed as well as word. At the age of seventeen he shocked his parents by abandoning his high-school studies, going on in just three years to become a prosperous rare-book publisher, a keen literary critic, and an author of fantastic fiction. He then turned himself into a self-taught archaeologist and staged a bold statue-lifting raid on an abandoned Cambodian temple - an exploit which catapulted him to notoriety when he was only twenty-three. Four years later he dumbfounded the skeptics with a remarkable first novel (The Conquerors), later winning the coveted Goncourt Prize with La Condition humaine (Man's Fate). After Hitler's rise to power, he transformed himself into a spell-binding orator at anti-fascist rallies, and when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936 he organized a volunteer bomber squadron for the hard-pressed Republicans, even though he had never piloted an airplane. Taken prisoner by the Germans in June 1940, he escaped to the French "free zone" and later teamed up with a British-trained SOE captain to form a brigade of resistance fighters, which he led all the way to Strasbourg in 1944. Impressed by his quick-witted intelligence and erudition, General de Gaulle made him Minister of Information in 1945 and later, in 1959, France's first Minister of Culture: two appointments which caused him later to be vilified by leftists as a "traitor" to his revolutionary past.

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André Malraux: a biography

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If Cate's gripping biography had been available November 23, 1996, when Malraux's remains joined those of Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, and Zola in the Pantheon, readers would have been even more ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Cate is the Paris-based American author of a number of well-known biographies.

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