The Debacle: 1870-71

Paperback | March 30, 1973

byEmile ZolaTranslated byLeonard TancockIntroduction byLeonard Tancock

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Conservative and working-class, Jean Macquart is an experienced, middle-aged soldier in the French army, who has endured deep personal loss. When he first meets the wealthy and mercurial Maurice Levasseur, who never seems to have suffered, his hatred is immediate. But after they are thrown together during the disastrous Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, the pair are compelled to understand one other. Forging a profound friendship, they must struggle together to endure a disorganised and brutal war, the savage destruction of France's Second Empire and the fall of Napoleon III. One of the greatest of all war novels, The Debacle is the nineteenth novel in Zola's great Rougon-Macquart cycle. A forceful and deeply moving tale of close friendship, it is also a fascinating chronicle of the events that were to lead, in the words of Zola himself, to 'the murder of a nation'.

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From Our Editors

 France had waged war with many European countries since the Revolution, but it was Napoleon III’s declaration of war against Prussia in 1870 that really put the corrupt Second Empire over the edge. The Debacle is an extraordinarily accurate account of France’s defeat. Emile Zola draws on a great deal of personal research to reveal the...

From the Publisher

Conservative and working-class, Jean Macquart is an experienced, middle-aged soldier in the French army, who has endured deep personal loss. When he first meets the wealthy and mercurial Maurice Levasseur, who never seems to have suffered, his hatred is immediate. But after they are thrown together during the disastrous Franco-Prussia...

From the Jacket

Zola’s only purely historical work, this realistic, detailed, and accurate account of France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War is a grim testament to the human horrors of war.

Emile Zola (1840-1902) was a French novelist and critic, the founder of the Naturalist movement in literature. Among Zola's most important works is his famous Rougon-Macquart cycle (1871-1893), which included such novels as L'Assomoir (1877), about the suffering of the Parisian working-class, Nana (1880), dealing with prostitution, and...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 7.8 × 5.09 × 1 inPublished:March 30, 1973Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140442804

ISBN - 13:9780140442809

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From Our Editors

 France had waged war with many European countries since the Revolution, but it was Napoleon III’s declaration of war against Prussia in 1870 that really put the corrupt Second Empire over the edge. The Debacle is an extraordinarily accurate account of France’s defeat. Emile Zola draws on a great deal of personal research to reveal the weapons, strategies and tactics that led to this monumental downfall. The book serves as a grim testament to the way in which war poisons relationships, distorts perspective and brings out the most savage instincts in human nature.