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Book Review: An Officer and a Spy
By Chuck Sevilla
Book Reviews columns.
An Officer and a Spy
By Robert Harris
Alfred A. Knopf (2014)
Robert Harris has written a riveting historical novel about the infamous Dreyfus Affair that saw Captain Alfred Dreyfus falsely accused in 1894 of treason for sending French military secrets to the German Embassy. The discovery that someone was passing state secrets to Germany hit the French military brass hard. They had just lost a humiliating war in 1870-71 to Prussia. The war was essentially over within the first month with the Prussian capture of Napoleon III and his army well within French borders.
France not only lost the battles quickly to the Prussians, but also lost a huge amount in reparations and the precious lands of Alsace and Lorraine. Further, the war united northern and southern Germany. Now, a Prussian-led Germany would become the economic and military powerhouse of the continent and formidable antagonist of France. Going forward, the French were bent on taking back their lands and avenging
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