Paul Nizan was born in Tours, France in 1905, the son of a railway engineer. A close friend of Sartre at the Lycee Henri IV and at the Ecole normale superieure, he joined the Communist Party in the late 1920s and became one of its best-known journalists and intellectuals. His works include Aden, Arabie; Les Chiens de Garde; Antoine Bloye; and Le Cheval de Troie. In 1939, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Nizan left the party and was killed the following year in the Battle of Dunkirk fighting against the German army. Jean-Paul Sartre was a prolific philosopher, novelist, public intellectual, biographer, playwright and founder of the journal Les Temps Modernes. Born in Paris in 1905 and died in 1980, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964--and turned it down. His books include Nausea, Intimacy, The Flies, No Exit, Sartre's War Diaries, Critique of Dialectical Reason, and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness. Walter Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and is the author of Illuminations, The Arcades Project, and The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Quintin Hoare is the director of the Bosnian Institute and has translated numerous works by Sartre, Antonio Gramsci, and other French authors. He lives in the United Kingdom.
"A complex mixture of history and analysis constitutes the great value of Nizan's book - A hard, true testimony at a time when 'the Young' are forming groups and congratulating themselves, when the young man thinks he has rights because he is young." Jean-Paul Sartre "It is a delicate, sometimes lyrical, evocation of the atmosphere and attitudes of the late Twenties. It catches the tone of youthful conversation and shows the interplay between intelligence and absurdity, feeling and frivolity, without any of the propagandist simplifications one might have expected from a Communist writer dealing with the privileged denizens of the Ecole Normale Superieure... The Conspiracy is a genuine piece of literature." John Weightman, New York Review of Books