Scum of the Earth

Arthur Koestler


Scum of the Earth

Scum of the Earth

  • Title: Scum of the Earth
  • Author: Arthur Koestler
  • ISBN: 9780907871491
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Paperback

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At the beginning of the Second World War, Koestler was living in the south of France working on Darkness at Noon After retreating to Paris he was imprisoned by the French as an undesirable alien even though he had been a respected crusader against fascism Only luck and his passionate energy allowed him to escape the fate of many of the innocent refugees, who were handedAt the beginning of the Second World War, Koestler was living in the south of France working on Darkness at Noon After retreating to Paris he was imprisoned by the French as an undesirable alien even though he had been a respected crusader against fascism Only luck and his passionate energy allowed him to escape the fate of many of the innocent refugees, who were handed over to the Nazis for torture and often execution.Scum of the Earth is than the story of Koestler s survival His shrewd observation of the collapse of the French determination to resist during the summer of 1940 is an illustration of what happens when a nation loses its honour and its pride From the 2006 paperback edition.


Recent Comments "Scum of the Earth"

Scum of the Earth = ‎La lie de la terre‬, Arthur Koestler, Kösztler Artúrتاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم سپتامبر سال 2004 میلادیعنوان: وازدگان خاک؛ نویسنده: آرتور کوستلر (کستلر)؛ برگردان: علینقی حجت اللهی؛ پوراندخت مجلسی؛ تهران، سپیده سحر، 1382؛ در 315 ص؛ شابک: 9647101260؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان اروپایی - قرن 20 [...]

Oh France, why must you be so full of fail?For anyone who’s a fan of Western civilization—as I am, most days—the fall of France in 1940 represents a spectacular, game-seven meltdown on the part of the home side. Born decades later and a continent away, I can still access some vicarious shame at that whole debacle. A great, modern democracy folding up like a set of Wal-Mart patio furniture – well, it’s something you never want to see, any more than you want to see your dad cry.Scum of t [...]

The dedication says it all 'To the memory of my colleagues, the exiled writers of Germany who took their lives when France fell;'This is a book double edged in its title. 'The Scum of the earth' initially seems to refer to the people interned by the French government at the beginning of the Second World War. This was the way in which they were collectively spoken of by politicians and the press as they desperately sought to shore up the rotten edifice of France. However, as the account continues [...]

Arthur Koestler had a knack for getting himself locked up. For several years in the 1930s and ‘40s, he took an inside tour of European prisons and concentration camps in Spain, France, and the UK. (Strangely, my edition of this book was published by a travel book publishing company, but I can’t think they would recommend this particular itinerary). Koestler’s friend George Orwell attributed his predilection for incarceration to his “lifestyle,” which is a bit unfair, but there is no do [...]

By describing his own experiences of internment and harassment during 1939 and 1940, Koestler reveals the circumstances that led to the collapse of France in the face of Nazi invasion. He describes the reluctance of French army conscripts, asked to fight and perhaps die in yet another war against the Germans. He asks how it is that he and others, committed anti-Nazis, are persecuted by the French authorities, instead of being welcomed as allies in the struggle against the Germans. Koestler point [...]

A mémoire by Arthur Koestler, a Hungarian journalist that survived and later wrote about the events surrounding the German invasion of France, of which he was a part. He was trapped, arrested by the French authorities and interned in a French prison-camp as an undesirable alien (a Jew). He was released and arrested once again, even though he was widely recognized for his vehemently vociferous, anti-fascist stance. This was quite normal during that period. Being arrested and spending time in pri [...]

این کتاب به‌نوعی اتوبیوگرافی یک‌سال از زندگی نویسنده است تقریباً از اوت 1939 تا اوت 1940 مقطعی حساس و بحرانی در تاریخ اروپا و بالاخص فرانسه که در این زمان محل اقامت این نویسنده‌ی پُرجنب‌وجوش بوده است. کتاب با مسافرت کستلر و دوستش به جنوب فرانسه آغاز می‌شود. آنها به دنبال جای آر [...]

This is an unusual autobiography because it's not so much about the author as a whole generation of political refugees who had to move across one border after another with little more than a suitcase. Usually in the middle of the night. Set from 1939 to 1941 the author tells how people fleeing facism, communism or both finally ended up in France by Sept 1939. They thought they were safe. They were wrong. The French media branded them the Scum of the Earth,responsible for all the crime and other [...]

Absolutely brilliant book. Koestler's ability to narrate his own travails and misfortunes as prisoner and refugee, as well as of all those persecuted at that time in France is quite astonishing. Yet even more astonishing is extraordinarily lucid understanding of the dynamics shaping French politics in the late 1930s (the 'sickness of the French body politic' as he called it) and his prescience about other coming developments there during the war. Don't read boring academic history books: read th [...]

The fall of France as witnessed by Arthur Koestler. I seldom read non-fiction for fun (you could say my work is to read non-fiction for ten hours a day). I made an exception for this since I really like Darkness at Noon and I know his later stuff is meant to be awful. I liked it, though it is by no means a life-changing book. Koestler went to France with Daphne Hardy, who is G. here, to finish Darkness at Noon. Then World War 2 broke out, so they had to scramble. He was interned as an undesirabl [...]

This is a very interesting book about a Hungarian writer living in France when WWII begins. His account of his maltreatment as a foreigner is enlightening. It was difficult some times to follow all the many political factions and movements going on at that time. The book was written just after his escape from France while the war was still going on, and the timing brings a great sense of immediacy to the story.Strangely, although I have been trying to avoid recently written books on WWII because [...]

This is from a letter I wrote to my grandma Rawn in August 1997:"I'm reading a book right now called 'Scum of the Earth', written by Arthur Koestler. He was a Hungarian, former Communist, turned anti-Fascist journalist and author. This book is about his internment in France during the second world war, and how he escaped to England just days before France turned all their anti-Fascist prisoners over to the Gestapo. It's very interesting - he's a very good writer and he's very good at making peop [...]

Koestler, Arthur. SCUM OF THE EARTH. (1941). ****. This was the first book that Koestler wrote in English, and it chronicles his experiences at the beginning of WW II. He and the woman he was living with at the time, a sculptress, had moved to a remote area of France – she to carry on with her art, he to work on his novel, “Darkness at Noon.” When war broke out, however, he knew that they had to get out of France and over to England for their safety. In their attempt, Koestler ended up be [...]

Like so so many books I have recently encountered reflecting on lives lived in previous times of social upheaval and conflict, Koestler's autobiographical window into the lives of the undesirable, the outcasts of Europe before the fall of France in 1940, catches glimpses of the fault lines in man's humanity that appear across the ages; glimpses of 1940 France seen today in our land.

Koestler was a complicated dude, and appreciating him is complicated by the fact that he was, at best, a serial sexual harasser (of women).but this is bloody harrowing stuff.We see several exiles including Benjamin take the cyanide capsule rather than get caught, as Germany storms towards the Champs Elysee. After having suffered through his travails in Spain (where he was pardoned from execution at the very last moment), why, he wouldn't have left Europe earlier is a bit of mystery, butat's tota [...]

Xenophobia - " must distinguish clearly between the popular origin of the mass psychosis, with its deep, mainly unconscious roots, and its conscious exploitation for political purposes. Hatred of foreigners, as such, seems to be the oldest collective feeling of mankind" We've made no progress since 1941."In fighting the Communists, one is always embarrassed by one's allies."

"Nessuna morte è triste e definitiva come la morte di un'illusione. Il primo istante dopo aver ricevuto un colpo non si soffre; ma si sa già che la sofferenza comincerà presto." (p. 21)

A warning from history. How France, faced with the threat of Fascism, decided to lock up Anti-Fascists on 'public order' grounds.

Arthur Koestler lived in France immediately before and during the German invasion and so was one witness to what that was like. As a civilian he did no fighting but as an alien (Hungarian) was rounded up and imprisoned horribly with the other aliens in France, no matter that most were either neutral or anti-Nazi like Koestler, many having tried like he did to join the armed forces of France. "Scum of the Earth" is the description applied by the media to those aliens in blaming handy scapegoats.T [...]

Interesting and informative depiction of time and place

Hungarian born journalist, writer, sometime communist and anti nazi Arthur Koestler, charts the outbreak of the Second World War through his own experience. Because it was written before the end of WWII, without the benefit of hindsight or retrospection, it has a very different feel to other factual or biographic accounts from the same period. Koestler, along with other anti nazis communists and various persecuted groups from all over Europe, find themselves rounded up and interned by the French [...]

Koestler describes his life in pre WWII France, his arrest and imprisonment in Le Vernet Concentration Camp just prior to the German invasion of France, his release and escape from France and the many people he meets along the way.The scum of the earth were the liberal free thinkers. Communists and socialist exiles who were scooped up by the pro-Vichy fascists and sent to concentration camps were most were later taken by the Gestapo. The book’s strength is in his observations about the Spanish [...]

Arthur Koestler's harrowing account of his flight from the Nazi regime during the early years of WWII is harrowing and gripping. The impression of the dark cloud that passed across Europe during the 1930s and early 1940s is frightening, and is made worse by the reluctance of the European governments of the day to recognise the inexorable rise of Fascism and its warlike intentions, and failing to provide sanctuary and security to the millions fleeing the pestilence.Sad to say that the lessons of [...]

AK was a Hungarian journalist in the 1930’s who was trapped in France when Germany rolled in during the Spring of 1940. He was placed in a detention camp, released, placed in another, escaped, join the French Foreign Legion under a false name so they would stop arresting him, then escaped to England via Marseille, Africa, and Portugal. This is a true story, not fiction, written in 1942. It is one of the Eland publications of the best ‘travel’ writing of the last 100 years. Another is Naple [...]

Koestler's description of the treatment of anti-Fascist "foreigners" in France in 1939-40, the mistreatment by the French police and bureaucrats of people who had fought against the Nazis or in Spain and ended up in camps in France is worth reading by anyone interested in contemporary history.These shameful episodes of French history are rarely mentioned but are still topical today as debates over immigration and migration are current in so many countries of the world.

This book is so honest that the frustration and helplessness of the author at once challenges that humanity of the reader. The injustice of the idealists, the unfortunate, and the outcasts suffering in prison camps due to the ignorance of a Nation because of wartime hysteria has insights prudent for reflection for any age.

I loved Darkness at Noon by Koestler but this book felt like I was swinging a 16 pound sledge hammer just to get from one page to the next. It's set in WW2 so that's the only positive I give this book.

After reading this - BREXIT!

Arthur Koestler: flawed crusaderGuardian Booksguardian/books/2010/


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