Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question examines the image of "the Jew" in Sartre's work to rethink not only his oeuvre but also the role of the intellectual in France and the politics and ethics of existentialism. It explores more broadly how French identity is defined through the abstraction and allegorization of "the Jew" and examines the role anti-antisemitic intellectuals play in this process. Jonathan Judaken reconsiders the origins of the intellectual in France in the context of the Dreyfus affair and Sartre's interventions in the parallel Franco-French conflicts in the 1930s and during the Vichy regime. He considers what it was possible to say on behalf of Jews and Judaism during the German occupation, Sartre's contribution after the war to the Vichy syndrome, his positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the ways Sartre's reflections on the Jewish Question served as a template for his shift toward Marxism, his resistance to colonialism, and for the defining of debates about Jews and Judaism in postwar France by both Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals. Judaken analyzes the texts that Sartre devoted to these issues and argues that "the Jew" constituted a foil Sartre consistently referenced in reflecting on politics in general and on the role of the intellectual in particular. Jonathan Judaken is an associate professor of modern European cultural and intellectual history at the University of Memphis.
Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question
University of Nebraska Press
Anti-Antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual