The Rebel is Camus’ ‘attempt to understand the time I live in’ and a brilliant essay on the nature of human revolt. Published in 1951, it makes a daring critique of communism – how it had gone wrong behind the Iron Curtain and the resulting totalitarian regimes. It questions two events held sacred by the left wing – the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 – that had resulted, he believed, in terrorism as a political instrument. In this towering intellectual document, Camus argues that hope for the future lies in revolt, which unlike revolution is a spontaneous response to injustice and a chance to achieve change without giving up collective and intellectual freedom.
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