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Bernard-Henri Lévy's new book is typically immodest—and his claim that the European left trades on fascist ideas is a facile caricature. Still, this is an audacious, often brilliantly argued work

By Catherine Fieschi   February 2008

Ce grand cadavre à la renverse by Bernard-Henri Lévy Grasset & Fasquelle, €19.90

Bernard-Henri Lévy’s new book starts in January 2007, with a telephone call from Nicolas Sarkozy. The edited and choreographed version of the conversation is a tiny gem of desultory character assassination and self-congratulatory storytelling. One morning, we are told, in the wake of an article written by another famous left-wing French intellectual in support of Sarkozy’s presidential campaign, Lévy’s phone rings. A playfully boisterous but needy Sarkozy wants to know when exactly his long-time friend Bernard-Henri will be writing his “own little piece” in support of his…

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