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The War of the Poor


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The fight for equality begins in the streets.

About the Author

Eric Vuillard is a writer and film-maker born in Lyon in 1968 who has written nine award-winning books, including Sorrow of the Earth and The Order of the Day, which won the 2017 Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize.


This brief, ardent book, half-historical essay and half-revolutionary tract, mingles swift-moving tableaux from the preacher's life and age with Vuillard's pulpit homilies on oppression and resistance . . . its incendiary prose well served by Mark Polizzotti's translation, has scenes of firecracker intensity. * Financial Times *
[A] compact, artful blend of history and fiction . . . in cinematic bursts of image and action . . . [Vuillard] never forces analogies with the present, but the uprisings he describes feel like part of a war destined to rage in any era beset by gross inequalities. * New Yorker *
It is very French and I mean that as a whole-hearted compliment . . . Set in a Europe of political division, sickness, disenfranchisement, poverty and simmering rebellion, it may be patterned on the gilets jaunes disruptions but is far more universal. The narrator is both aloof and humble; not willing to speculate about Muntzer's motives, but desperate to understand him. -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday *
A slender, vivid history of a 16th-century populist revolt that holds relevance for current times . . . A slim book in which every word is important, one that deserves to be read multiple times. * Kirkus (starred review) *
Vuillard is the master demystifier, who leaves nothing sleeping in the shadows. He is only civil when it comes to language, which he applies with a devastating irony and a grace that one rarely reads. -- Gregoire Lemenager * L'OBS *
A short and incandescent text. * Le Monde *

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