The notions and ideas that poured out of conversations with a renowned French philosopher are just as poignant today as they were in 1972. And for the first time, those words transcribed by Jean-Paul Sartre, Philippe Gavi, and Pierre Victor in It Is Right to Rebel have been translated into English, thanks to two retired University of Windsor professors.
Professors emeritus Adrian van den Hoven and Basil Kingstone spent two years translating the original text from French to English and recently had the book published by Routledge. Sartre was one of the leading figures in 20th century French existentialism and Marxism.
Dr. van den Hoven said It Is Right to Rebel is a conversation with deep debates about the nature and justification of revolt, class conflict, and consciousness. Many of the issues discussed are just as prevalent today, like the relationship that Sartre established between socialism and freedom, and his insistence on electoral reform.
“Sartre says that the electoral process is a trap for fools,” van den Hoven said. “People believe that they are picking a person who truly represents them, when in fact, it’s not the case at all.”
With a backdrop of industrial, political, and civil unrest, van den Hoven said the topics in the book are particularly pertinent to the current political setting in the United States.
The original purpose of publishing It Is Right to Rebel, van den Hoven said, was to fund the French newspaper Libération.
“That newspaper still exists today, and Philippe Gavi became one of its journalists,” van den Hoven said. “It was very much a left-wing newspaper, but in the meantime, it’s changed completely.”
For more information about the book, visit www.routledge.com.