Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice
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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
The Scholar as Revolutionist
(From “Anatole France”)

By Georg Brandes

(Danish critic, born 1842)
 
WHAT gives Anatole France his lasting hold over his hearers is not his cleverness, but himself—the fact that this savant who bears the heavy load of three cultures, nay, who is in himself a whole little culture—this sage, to whom the whole life of the earth is but an ephemeral eruption on its surface, and who consequently regards all human endeavor as finally vain—this thinker, who can see everything from innumerable sides and might have come to the conclusion that, things being bad at the best, the existing state of matters was probably as good as the untried: that this man should proclaim himself a son of the Revolution, side with the workingman, acknowledge his belief in liberty, throw away his load and draw his sword—this is what moves a popular audience, this is what plain people can understand and can prize. It has shown them that behind the author there dwells a man—behind the great author a brave man.  1
 
 
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