The books by Louis Begley and Francine Prose manage to make their subjects relevant to a wide, non-Jewish audience, without losing sight of the specificity of each case.

The books by Louis Begley and Francine Prose manage to make their subjects relevant to a wide, non-Jewish audience, without losing sight of the specificity of each case

by Eric Herschthal
Staff Writer

In 1894, a Jewish artillery officer in the French army was convicted of selling military secrets to Germans. Though the evidence against him was forged and his military tribunal held in secret, the officer spent five years in a remote island shackled in chains, holed up in a cramped, stifling cell, and forbidden to speak to anyone. It took 12 years for the French government to ultimately exonerate him of any wrongdoing, even going so far as to award him the Legion of Honor after reinstating him into the army.

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