Bernard-Henri Lévy on de Tocqueville
Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher and the author of over 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography. He began his career as a war reporter for Combat - the legendary newspaper founded by Albert Camus during the Nazi occupation of France - for which he covered the war between Pakistan and India over Bangladesh, and gained international renowned in 1994 for his documentary, Bosnia! Lévy is also the founder of the New Philosophers group. His 1977 book Barbarism with a Human Face launched an unprecedented controversy over the European left's complicity with totalitarianism. Lévy's cultural commentary, novels and journalism have continued to stir up such excitement that The Guardian noted he is "accorded the kind of adulation in France that most countries reserve for their rock stars."
Topic: Bernard-Henri Levy on de Tocqueville
Bernard-Henri Levy: The policeman on the highway to Chicago, I think, who, at the moment, when I stopped my car, I ask for the driver to… because I don’t drive myself, so [IB] had to hire a driver for me. It’s an incapacity I have. I asked to stop to have a piss. I did it. Policeman came to me, very angry, furious, telling me that I have, it was absolutely forbidden to stop in the middle of a highway to do such terrible thing. He was really at the edge of putting me a big fine and maybe making me lose a few hours and I told him that I was French, but he did not care, that I was a writer, even worse, that I was a philosopher. Go to hell. That I wrote a book about Daniel Pearl. He did not really know the name, and suddenly I told him, but really, out of arguments, out of I did not know to which saint [asked], I said, “I’m doing a book about Alexis de Tocqueville.” And then his face was cleared by a great smile. “Alexis de Tocqueville? Are you really meaning Tocqueville?’’ I said, “Yes.” “Oh, my God! So you are blessed!” No fine and nothing. He took me back to the car and he said, “Bye-bye. Good luck. Have a good day.”
Lévy recounts a humorous story from footsteps of de Tocqueville.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
Fall is a bad time to hold elections.
- Usually, only about 40 percent of eligible voters participate in midterm elections.
- Because of logistics, we may need to change the time of year we vote.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.