War, Evil and the end of History (2004)
From the maverick author of the international bestseller Who Killed Daniel Pearl? — “a gripping blend of reportage and philosophy,” according to The New York Times — comes another startlingly original work of literature.
In WAR, EVIL AND THE END OF HISTORY, Bernard-Henri Lévy continues his daring investigation into the breeding grounds of terrorism with a series of riveting first-person reports from five of the world’s most horrific “forgotten” war zones. In Sri Lanka, he conducts a clandestine interview with a terrified young woman escaped from a suicide-bomber training camp . . . he journeys, blindfolded, into the Colombian jungle to interview a psychotic drug lord who considers himself the successor to Che Guevara and fronts a bloodthirsty “guerilla” army . . . Lévy surreptitiously observes the nameless slaves working the diamond mines that fund an endless war in Angola . . . airdrops into a rebel stronghold in the blockaded Nuba mountains of the Sudan . . . and reports on the ongoing carnage in Burundi between Hutus and Tutsis. But Lévy is more than just a journalist: as France’s leading philosopher, he follows the reports with a series of intensely personal and probing “reflections” considering how, in an enlightened, cultured, and well-informed society, these wars have acquired such a perverse “non-meaning.” He considers war literature from Stendhal, Hemingway, Proust and others, and issues an excoriating response to those who have glorified it. He reconsiders his own background as a student revolutionary in Paris in May 1968, and as a 22-year-old war reporter in Bangladesh. And, in one of the book’s most moving passages, he recounts his travels with Ahmad Massoud, the anti-Taliban Afghan leader assassinated hours before the September 11 attacks. Already a huge bestseller in Europe, WAR, EVIL, AND THE END OF HISTORY is the work of a scintillating intellect at the height of its powers. Bernard-Henri Lévy’s previous book foresaw today’s headlines about Pakistan’s secret trading of nuclear technology and the nexus of terrorist groups behind the murder of Daniel Pearl. WAR, EVIL, AND THE END OF HISTORY is his brilliant foray into the next danger zones.
Melville House Publishing
March 2004 / 371 Pages
“Levy is trying to make sense of realities that more timorous and conventional writers prefer to ignore. The end of history that was announced when the Berlin Wall crumbled was supposed to be a time of peace. In fact, the world has been wracked by successive wars (…) He is one of very few struggling to understand the present, and for that reason he is a thinker we cannot afford to be without.”
“The book caused the French, for the third time, to take Bernard-Henri Lévy very seriously”