This book examines the figure of the public intellectual through the work of Emile Zola in the Dreyfus Affair. It analyses Zola’s famous letter “J’Accuse” supporting Alfred Dreyfus and its philosophical and political consequences for the intellectual world, including Indian public intellectuals. The volume is an examination of the critical role which can be played by public intellectuals today by referring to the “J’Accuse” model and an homage to the ideal of living decently and truthfully through the exercise of critical reason and moral excellence.
Accessible and comprehensive, the book will be essential reading for students of philosophy and critical reasoning. It will be of interest to general readers as well.
Introduction: Reading “J’Accuse” Today 1. The Universal Meaning of “J’Accuse” 2. Dissent and Emancipation 3. Mapping Dissent: Reading Zola in India 4. Re-inventing the Intellectual. Conclusion: Zola and Power of Ideas