Memoirs: Fifty Years Of Political Reflection
By Raymond Aron
Holmes & Meier, 1989, 509 pp.
The memoirs of a celebrated French scholar, journalist and observer who, wittingly or not, was also a moralist and a political conscience. A French patriot and a Jew, Aron received his political education as a student in Germany during Hitler's rise to power. The book-with the inevitable presence of his fellow normalién and, later, lamented foe Jean-Paul Sartre-evokes the cultural-political milieu of France from the 1930s to the 1980s. Aron believed that his influence would be ephemeral, that he understood power but probably could never exercise it, that he had his own weaknesses, and yet that somehow he had come to occupy a unique niche in the post-1945 world.