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An Officer and a Spy: A novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2014
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A whistle-blower. A witch hunt. A cover-up. Secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, and government corruption. Welcome to 1890s Paris.

Alfred Dreyfus has been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who believes in Dreyfus's guilt as staunchly as any member of the public. But when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military—indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself.
Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction
Winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/28/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385349598
ASIN:
B00EBRU05I
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Robert Harris. (2014). An Officer and a Spy: A novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Robert Harris. 2014. An Officer and a Spy: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Robert Harris, An Officer and a Spy: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Robert Harris. An Officer and a Spy: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Harris, Robert
      • bioText:

        Robert Harris is the author of eight best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, and The Fear Index. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, which was directed by Roman Polanski. Harris's work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, West Berkshire, with his wife, Gill Hornby.

      • name: Robert Harris
imprint
Vintage
publishDate
2014-01-28T00:00:00-05:00
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title
An Officer and a Spy
fullDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A whistle-blower. A witch hunt. A cover-up. Secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, and government corruption. Welcome to 1890s Paris.

Alfred Dreyfus has been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who believes in Dreyfus's guilt as staunchly as any member of the public. But when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military—indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself.
Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction
Winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: USA Today
      • content: British National Book Awards--Popular Fiction Book of the Year

        "Outstanding . . . Finds its chilling thrills in the unlikeliest of places."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "[A] superb historical thriller. . . . Thick with scenes of code-breaking, covert surveillance, hairsbreadth escapes and violent death."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Daily Beast
      • content: "Harris has, with this novel, taken [Le Carré's] place as the master of making documents and scraps of paper, the details of painstaking intelligence work, into drama. "
      • premium: False
      • source: The Miami Herald
      • content: "[Harris] outdoes himself. The period details are pitch-perfect . . . and the action pulses with intensity."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times
      • content: "A gripping tale."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from November 18, 2013
        Harris (Fatherland) provides easily the best fictional treatment of the Dreyfus Affair yet, in this gripping thriller told from the vantage point of French army officer Georges Picquart. Major Picquart is present on the day in 1895 that Alfred Dreyfus is publicly degraded as a traitor to his country, before his exile to Devil’s Island. Soon afterward, Picquart is promoted to colonel, to assume command of the Statistical Section, which is actually the army’s espionage unit. Picquart comes across evidence of another traitor spying for the Germans, and his investigation uncovers something unsettling: the handwriting of the spy, Walsin Esterhazy, is a perfect match for the writing on the letters that the French government claimed were from Dreyfus. Furthermore, review of the classified evidence against the exile reveals nothing of substance. Picquart pursues the truth, at personal and professional risk, in the face of superiors eager to preserve the official version of events. Harris perfectly captures the rampant anti-Semitism that led to Dreyfus’s scapegoating, and effectively uses the present tense to lend intimacy to the narrative. First printing of 100,000. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2013
        Labyrinthine machinations having to do with the Dreyfus Affair, the late 19th-century spy case that disclosed a latent anti-Semitism in French culture. The main character and narrator of Harris' novel is Col. Georges Picquart, former professor of topography at the ecole superieure de guerre in Paris. While on the surface, topography might seem a peripheral issue to the military, according to Picquart, it involves "the fundamental science of war," since it requires surveying terrain and generally looking at landscape from a military perspective. Chosen to head a counterespionage agency looking into the crimes allegedly committed by Dreyfus, Picquart has already been rewarded with a nice promotion and seems convinced of Dreyfus' guilt. But in investigating the case, Picquart begins to have doubts about this guilt and is fairly sure espionage is continuing through Maj. Esterhazy, a Germany spy who's been passing along the secrets Dreyfus has been accused of disclosing. Military officials are not pleased that Picquart is coming up with evidence that might exonerate Dreyfus since, by this time, Dreyfus has already been convicted and condemned to spend time on Devil's Island, recently reopened solely for him. Gen. Gonse, for example, cautions Picquart not to be overly enthusiastic in his inquiries concerning Dreyfus since, after all, he's already been convicted and so his guilt is proved. Public opinion, alas, is on the side of Gonse, for much of the population, inflamed by the popular press, already sees Dreyfus as a traitor and delights in conveying their virulent anti-Semitism. Espionage, counterespionage, a scandalous trial, a coverup and a man who tries to do right make this a complex and alluring thriller.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2014

        Harris's best-selling 1992 fiction breakout, Fatherland, portrayed an alternate history in which Germany won World War II and a questioning protagonist uncovered uncomfortable facts about his country. His latest book involves a similar theme but depicts a very real historical event, the infamous Dreyfus Affair. The tale is told by Maj. Georges Picquart, a rising star in the French military circa 1895. Shortly after he witnesses the public humiliation and imprisonment of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer accused of treason, the major is appointed head of the "Statistical Section," the country's blandly named spy agency. An adept student of spycraft, Picquart soon becomes aware of other plots to sell French secrets. He also discovers that his predecessor's case against Dreyfus was shockingly weak, but no one in the complacent, corrupt, and frequently anti-Semitic government wants to hear the truth. Picquart is a fascinating protagonist and narrator, personally flawed but determined to pursue the truth even when government resistance threatens his career, his life, and everyone around him. His story draws an uncomfortable parallel to current events; as Valerie Plame, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange can attest, 21st-century governments still resent troublemakers who reveal embarrassing truths. VERDICT This is an atmospheric and tense historical thriller, with a flawed but honorable protagonist fighting against entrenched complacence and bigotry.--Bradley Scott, Corpus Christie, TX

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from December 1, 2013
        Harris' instantly absorbing thriller reanimates the Dreyfus Affair of 1895 through Colonel Georges Picquart, who exposed the conspiracy to frame Dreyfus for supplying the Germans with French Army secrets. After serving as the minister of war's observer at Dreyfus' military trial, Picquart is promoted to lead the army's espionage unit. Picquart immerses himself in the dark work and quickly discovers evidence of another soldier leaking information to the German attach'. When he's denied permission to launch a sting operation, Picquart joins forces with a Sret' (police) detective to gather evidence through an unofficial surveillance scheme. Convinced that the secret evidence that convicted Dreyfus implicates his current target instead, Picquart investigates further and finds a conspiracy originating in the army's top ranks. In the anti-Semitic climate of this pivotal period in French society, Picquart's insistence that Dreyfus the Jew may be innocent creates dangerous, powerful enemies. Harris combats the predictability that can haunt fictional accounts of well-known events by teasing out the tale through Picquart's training in espionage and investigation, his unsanctioned detecting, and the complex intrigues he navigates to secure a reexamination of Dreyfus' case. Great for fans of Ken Follett, John le Carr', Louis Bayard, Caleb Carr, and Martin Cruz Smith, all of whom also portray historical intrigues and investigations with intricate detail and literary skill. Also try Jason Matthews' recently published Red Sparrow (2013).(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A whistle-blower. A witch hunt. A cover-up. Secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, and government corruption. Welcome to 1890s Paris.

Alfred Dreyfus has been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who believes in Dreyfus's guilt as staunchly as any member of the public. But when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military—indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself.
Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for...
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A novel
publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group