A rising star in the French artillery, Captain Alfred Dreyfus appeared to be in line for a post on the General Staff. But his rapid climb had also made him enemies, including aristocratic officers in the High Command who resented Dreyfus as middle-class, meritocratic, and a Jew. In 1894, pieces of an unsigned memo containing military secrets were found in a wastebasket in the German embassy in Paris, and Dreyfus, on slender evidence, was found guilty of treason and imprisoned on Devil's Island. The author of The Templars chronicles the resulting 12-year struggle between a minority seeking justice and a military establishment determined to save face; the Dreyfus affair divided France and bared anti-Semitic passions and violent hatreds that were a foretaste of those that would emerge in the 20th century.
"For sheer drama, few political scandals in European history can match the Dreyfus affair... The author effectively deploys his considerable literary talents to master the contortions of the affair and humanize the large cast of villains and heroes. The result is compelling and tense."—Sunday Times (London)