Cover of the book Left in Dark Times by Bernard-Henri Lévy
Cover of the book Left in Dark Times

Bernard-Henri Lévy

Left in Dark Times

A Stand Against the New Barbarism

256 pages

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780812974720

Translator: Benjamin Moser

Issue date: October 2009

In this unprecedented critique, Bernard-Henri Lévy revisits his political roots, scrutinizes the totalitarianisms of the past as well as those on the horizon, and argues powerfully for a new political and moral vision for our times. Are human rights Western or universal? Does anti-Semitism have a future, and, if so, what will it look like? And how is it that progressives themselves–those who in the past defended individual rights and fought fascism–have now become the breeding ground for new kinds of dangerous attitudes: an unthinking loathing of Israel; an obsessive anti-Americanism; an idea of “tolerance” that, in its justification of Islamic fanaticism, for example, could become the “cemetery of democracies”; and an indifference, masked by relativism, to the greatest human tragedies facing the world today?At a time of ideological and political transition in America, Left in Dark Times articulates the threats we all face–in many cases without our even being aware of it–and offers a powerful new vision for progressives everywhere.


Navigating these shoals, and continually asking himself as well as others to confront the hard questions, he produces a text that I think many readers will find highly absorbing.

[Lévy’s] memories interlace with reflections on his long career of political activism . . . and are studded with passionately held positions on every issue current on the world stage. Whether or not you agree with him . . . you will be convinced of this: Ideas matter to him.

Lévy offers as fine a description as you’re likely to find anywhere of what the conventional international left . . . has adopted as its worldview. . . . [His] discussion of contemporary anti-Semitism is sophisticated, detailed and convincing.

Continually asking himself as well as others to confront the hard questions, [Lévy] produces a text that . . . readers will find highly absorbing.

Moving and inspiring . . . When political leaders commit atrocities, intellectuals remind the world of right and wrong. . . . Bernard-Henri Lévy, perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today, seeks to revive this tradition of speaking truth to power.

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