The Will to See Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope Bernard-Henri Levy

Publication date:
26 Oct 2021
Yale University Press
208 pages: 216 x 140mm
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An unflinching look at the most urgent humanitarian crises around the globe, from one of the world’s most daring philosopher-reporters

Despite the difficulties of travel during the coronavirus pandemic, renowned public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy has reported extensively on human rights abuses that have escaped global attention or active response. This new book collects those reports into a powerful treatise on—as well as a cri de coeur for—what it means to be a citizen of the world.
In a deeply personal introduction, Lévy recounts the intellectual journey that led him to advocacy, arguing that a truly humanist philosophy must necessarily lead to action in defense of the most vulnerable. In the second section, he reports on the eight investigative trips he undertook just before or during the pandemic, from the massacred Christian villages in Nigeria to a dangerously fragile Afghanistan on the eve of the Taliban talks, from an anti-Semitic ambush in Tarhouna to the overrun refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. Part manifesto, part missives from the field, this new book is a stirring rebuke to indifference and an exhortation to level our gaze at those most hidden from us.

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, filmmaker, activist, and the author of over thirty books, including The Virus in the Age of Madness. He is widely regarded as one of the West’s most important public intellectuals. He lives in Paris.