"While it is true that Yves R. Simon did not intend this to be a history book, The Ethiopian Campaign and French Political Thought is an important historical work well deserving of a close reading by students of twentieth-century European history and international relations. This book, which finds a worthy English translation after too many years, was Simon's first serious foray into the public square on the side of justice and the common good. Simon's analysis is wide-ranging, incisive, and brimming with far-sighted political acumen." --Robert Ventresca, King's University College
"The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 led to the memorable plea of Emperor Haile Selassie before the League of Nations as his country's freedom died. Easier to forget is that it also sparked a surprisingly familiar intellectual dispute over the legitimacy of the bombing and the relevance of international law, as depressingly many European intellectuals rallied behind Benito Mussolini's campaign as a defense of the West and the cause of 'civilization.' The unsparing critique leveled against these frequently religious apologists for imperialism by Yves Simon, French Catholic thinker and later American university professor, is an eye-opening reminder of the terms of debate, and the larger constellation of forces of the turbulent era. Anthony Simon and his colleagues deserve thanks for making this precious and moving document available, since its ethical kernel, like its model of Catholic intellectualism, remain highly relevant." --Samuel Moyn, Columbia University
"The Ethiopian Campaign and French Political Thought offers a very important discussion grounded in traditional metaphysics and in a sound sense of historical circumstances. This little book is a gem. --George Anastaplo, Loyola University of Chicago
Yves Simon was one of the preeminent Thomistic philosophers and political theorists of the twentieth century. He saw it as a moral duty to understand human reality and to use philosophical analysis to examine contemporary politics when they embodied philosophical errors or vicious ideologies. In The Ethiopian Campaign and French Political Thought, Simon extracts principles from the 1894 Dreyfus Affair in France and applies them to Italy's 1935 invasion of Ethopia. As Simon's analysis shows, the relatively obscure events leading up to the Italian invasion had larger implications for Europe and the world, perhaps even paving the way for Vichy France's collaboration with Hitler's German New Order.
This book, available for the first time in English, offers an interesting case study of such ethical concerns as just war theory and pre-emptive war, and is of particular relevance in our modern political climate.