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Bernard-Henri Lévy
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Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher and one of the most esteemed and bestselling writers in Europe. He is the author of over 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography. American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville was a New York Times bestseller (2006). Subsequent books in English are Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (2008) and, with Michel Houellebecq, Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World (2011). A 2013 book, Les Aventures de la Verité—Peinture et philosophie, explored the historical interplay of philosophy and art. The book was written as a companion to an exhibition by the same name that Lévy curated for the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence (June 29–November 11, 2013).

His new play, “Hotel Europe,” which premiers in Sarajevo on June 27, 2014, and in Paris on September 9, is a cry of alarm about the crisis facing the European project and the dream behind it.

Lévy gained renown for his documentary film about the Bosnian conflict, Bosna! (1994). After starting his career as a war reporter for Combat — the legendary newspaper founded by Albert Camus during the Nazi occupation of France — for which he covered the war between Pakistan and India over Bangladesh, Lévy was instrumental in the founding of the New Philosophers group. His 1977 book Barbarism with a Human Face launched an unprecedented controversy over the European left’s complicity with totalitarianism. Lévy’s cultural commentary, novels and journalism have continued to stir up such excitement that The Guardian noted he is ‘accorded the kind of adulation in France that most countries reserve for their rock stars.’

Lévy has undertaken several diplomatic missions for the French government. He was appointed by French President Jacques Chirac to head a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan in 2002 in the wake of the war against the Taliban, a war that Lévy supported. He has traveled to the world’s most troubled areas. He followed the trail of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan to research his ‘investigative novel’ Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (2003). His book War, Evil, and the End of History (2004) took him to the sites of what he calls the world's forgotten wars, from Colombia to Sri Lanka. His reportage and commentary from Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war appeared to wide acclaim, in among others, the New York Times Magazine. And after an extensive, clandestine visit to Darfur in 2007, he reported on the ethnic cleansing and genocide there for Le Monde and for The New Republic. His first-hand account of the fall of Moammar Gaddafi in Libya appeared in the form of a writer’s journal (La Guerre sans l’aimer, 2012) and a documentary film (The Oath of Tobruk, which debuted at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival).

Entries by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Le Pen and Le Pen, Enough, Already!

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 9:21 AM

Enough of the indecent psychodrama surrounding Marine Le Pen and her father.

Enough of the indulgent, sentimental, and voyeuristic commentary about the daughter "sacrificing" a poor King Lear, leaving him to rave on his moor in St. Cloud.

And most of all, enough of the obscene political whitewashing that...

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The Peshmerga's Leaders and the French President

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 9:43 AM

This is the office in which I introduced Bosnia's Alija Izetbegovic to François Mitterrand.

The one in which, on June 23, 1995, Jacques Chirac received Françoise Giroud, Jacques Julliard, Paul Garde, Pierre Hassner, and me to hear us describe the agony of Sarajevo.

And it is the one in which...

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In Defense of Angela Merkel

(24) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 9:27 AM

The advantage of the notorious cover of Der Spiegel that showed Angela Merkel in front of the Acropolis surrounded by Nazi officers is that it finally poses, in a way that cannot be dodged, the question of Germanophobia in Europe.

This has dragged on for quite some time.

There were...

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Red Notice: Honoring Sergei Magnitski

(9) Comments | Posted March 22, 2015 | 7:05 AM

The story begins in the early 2000s, as Vladimir Putin comes to power.

At the time, Bill Browder, author of Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice (Simon & Schuster 2015), is an investment advisor like any other.

Except Browder understands a...

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The Case of the Stolen Paintings

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 9:18 AM

François Margolin's new film, L'Antiquaire (which might be called 'The Art Dealer' if and when it is released in the English-speaking world), is fiction.

But it is also a meditation on one of the great French scandals of the last 65 years: the dispossession of Jewish art collectors during the...

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A Marshall Plan for Ukraine

(18) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 1:20 PM

Speech delivered March 3, 2015, at Palais Ferstel in Vienna

It was six months ago.

I was returning from one of my countless trips to Kiev, where what impressed me was the resilience of the new Ukraine and its democratic fervor.

And, right here in Vienna, at the Hofburg Palace,...

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Boris Nemtsov: Alive in Death

(41) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 6:09 AM

I met Boris Nemtsov in April 2000.

It was soon after the second Chechen war.

I had come to Russia to interview Igor Ivanov, Russia's minister of foreign affairs at the time.

I took advantage of the trip to see, at the offices of an association of mothers of...

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Ukraine, the Theater, and Their Echoes

(6) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 10:52 AM

It has already been a year.

It has been a year, almost to the day, since the revolution in Ukraine overthrew the corrupt, tyrannical, and, in its last days, murderous regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

To mark the anniversary of that event, which I followed closely from its beginning, and to...

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How to Deal With the Islamic State? Arm the Kurds

(199) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 9:03 AM

Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Leave Erbil and take the southern road toward Mosul.

There, in a landscape of hills green but bare, is the front line where General Barzani's Peshmerga fighters are arrayed against the the Islamic State.

"We lack everything," the young general tells me,...

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Why Read Heidegger?

(29) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 8:56 AM

On the initiative of the Bibliothèque National de France, the review La Règle du Jeu, and two young philosophers, Joseph Cohen and Raphaël Zagury-Orly, a major symposium was held last week on the subject of Heidegger and "the Jews."

Over the discussions hung the appearance of Heidegger's famous...

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Against the New Anti-Semitism: Remembering the Holocaust Protects Us All

(259) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 2:21 PM

Earlier today, in fulfilment of a lifetime aspiration, I had the signal honor of addressing a special plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly. The topic was rising anti-Semitic violence worldwide.

* * *

Not often is a philosopher called upon to speak in this forum.

This is...

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Michel Houellebecq: Novelist

(8) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 7:59 AM

Strange indeed, the story of Michel Houellebecq's latest novel, Soumission (Flammarion 2015), which appeared just before the attack on Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, like an advance echo of the terrible events that have plunged France into mourning, and scaring stiff not only the author's friends but Houellebecq...

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The Shock to Come: A Writer Takes on Economics and Finance

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 8:44 AM

It is a short book -- barely 100 pages. Published by a small house (Les Liens Qui Libèrent). Available in good bookstores since the end of the summer -- and yet to be reviewed, as far as I know, in any newspaper or magazine.

François Meyronnis's manifesto on the true...

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Thank You, America

(12) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 9:05 PM

From the report on torture issued last week by the U.S. Senate we can draw three lessons. The first is a terrible one, but the other two are encouraging.

The first thing the report teaches us is that it is indeed possible for the most prominent intelligence agency of...

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Reading Philippe Sollers: Literature and Politics à la Française

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:54 PM

Why does Islamist terrorism function like a swarm and not like a network or a rhizome -- acephalous, polycephalous, wheeling, invulnerable?

Is it true that George W. Bush nearly suffocated after choking on a pretzel while watching football on TV and seeing Mullah Omar running through the stadium shouting "Guantanamo,...

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Why the French Parliament Should Vote No on a Palestinian State

(177) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 1:46 PM

The French parliament is due to vote on recognition of a Palestinian state on Nov. 28.

PARIS -- For nearly half a century, I have favored the two-state solution. But I believe that the "unilateral recognition" of Palestine under consideration in the French parliament is a bad idea...

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Victor Pinchuk, Mistral Warships, and the Jews of Ukraine

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 11:44 AM

On November 18, 2014, in Kiev, philanthropist Victor Pinchuk was awarded the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Medal of Honor by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (a Canadian organization) for his contributions to Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. What follows is a corrected version of my remarks at the...

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André Glucksmann in His Voltairean Garden

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 5:59 AM

How many of us remember that Europe is a new and unprecedented political creation born from the triple rejection of Nazism, Communism, and colonialism?

How many continue to venerate the models of lucidity and courage, the examples of combativeness and greatness, that were the Vaclav Havels, the Sakharovs, the...

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France's Prime Minister Knows What's in a Name

(5) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 1:33 PM

This is not the first time that Manuel Valls has proposed changing the name of the French Socialist Party.

Truth be told, he is doing it today a bit less clearly than he did the day after the defeat of Mrs Royal in France's 2007 presidential election. Less clearly,...

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The Oath of Tunis

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 7:23 AM

A whirlwind trip to Tunis.

At the airport, a small group of protesters nostalgic for Gaddafi, noisy and pathetic.

In the hours that follow, a web of conspiracy sites concocts the most comical scenarios to explain my presence, along with Gilles Hertzog, on Tunisian soil: a shadowy meeting with Ennadha,...

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