January 27th, 2011


Slate occasionally surprises me.

Jean Larteguy's The Centurions: It's coming back into print. - By Sophia Raday - Slate Magazine:
A copy of Jean Larteguy's The Centurions, an out-of-print French novel about paratroopers in Indochina and Algeria, can go for more than $1,700 on Amazon. That's reason enough for its republication this January by Amereon LTD for a list price of $59.95. But when I called the publisher, Jed Clauss, it turned out money wasn't his primary motivation: "Look, I'm an old guy," he said, "I'm at the end of my publishing career. I now only do fun projects. But David Petraeus wanted this republished. So I'm doing it."

I was tremendously surprised by the author's refusal to go down the rather obvious road of bashing Petraeus and McChrystal for emulating the disaffected French paras in Algeria, or more accurately their reaction to being sold out by deGaulle. Maybe she hasn't read The Praetorians, or maybe she doesn't know the history of the war in Algeria. I continue to hope that both books will eventually be reissued in Kindle editions.