Talking with Sartre: Conversations and Debates

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John Gerassi
Yale University Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 318 pages
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What would it be like to be privy to the mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers? John Gerassi had just this opportunity; as a child, his mother and father were very close friends with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and the couple became for him like surrogate parents. Authorized by Sartre to write his biography, Gerassi conducted a long series of interviews between 1970 and 1974, which he has now edited to produce this revelatory and breathtaking portrait of one of the world's most famous intellectuals.

Through the interviews, with both their informalities and their tensions, Sartre's greater complexities emerge. In particular, we see Sartre wrestling with the apparent contradiction between his views on freedom and the influence of social conditions on our choices and actions. We also gain insight into his perspectives on the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the disintegration of colonialism.

These conversations add an intimate dimension to Sartre's more abstract ideas. With remarkable rigor and intensity, they also provide a clear lens through which to view the major conflagrations of the past century.

 

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User Review  - saibancho - LibraryThing

A transcript of interviews between John Gerassi and Sartre in 1970-74 covering a lot of different areas, but mainly Sartres life and political career, The Spanish Civil War, The Occupation of France ... Read full review

Contents

NOVEMBER 1970
1
DECEMBER 1970
27
JANUARY 1971
47
MARCH 1971
58
APRIL 1971
76
MAY 1971
88
OCTOBER 1971
93
DECEMBER 1971
122
JUNE 1972
205
OCTOBER 1972
214
NOVEMBER 1972
227
MAY 1973
233
JUNE 1973
247
NOVEMBER 1973
255
NOVEMBER 1974
262
FAREWELL
272

JANUARY 1972
140
FEBRUARY 1972
156
MARCH 1972
165
APRIL 1972
171
MAY 1972
179
Notes
277
Acknowledgments
305
Index
307
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About the author (2009)

John Gerassi, currently professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York, is the author of Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His Century.

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