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Alan Sheridan, 2 July 1981

Teachers, Writers, Celebrities: The Intellectuals of Modern France 
by Régis Debray, translated by David Macey.
New Left Books, 251 pp., £11, May 1981, 0 86091 039 3
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... For most people, I suspect, the name of Régis Debray is still inextricably linked with that of Che Guevara. For many, it still conjures up a blissful time of youthful certainties and heroic purpose. Debray was one of the first to do what many later dreamt of doing. In 1961, as a 20-year-old philosophy student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, he visited Cuba in the aftermath of the Revolution ...

Disaffiliate, Reaffiliate, Kill Again

Jeremy Harding: Régis Debray, 7 February 2008

Praised Be Our Lords: The Autobiography 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 328 pp., £19.99, April 2007, 978 1 84467 140 3
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... Regis Debray has led the fullest of lives, embroiled in ideology, controversy and action. As a young man at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, he sat at the feet of Louis Althusser; he trained in the use of assault weapons with Fidel Castro; he trod the thankless Bolivian forests with Che Guevara and served nearly four years in jail for his trouble ...
Adventures on the Freedom Road: The French Intellectuals in the 20th Century 
by Bernard-Henri Lévy, translated by Richard Veasey.
Harvill, 434 pp., £20, December 1995, 1 86046 035 6
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The Imaginary Jew 
by Alain Finkielkraut, translated by Kevin O’Neill and David Suchoff.
Nebraska, 230 pp., £23.95, August 1994, 0 8032 1987 3
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The Defeat of the Mind 
by Alain Finkielkraut, translated by Judith Friedlander.
Columbia, 165 pp., $15, May 1996, 0 231 08023 9
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... Mauriac, while Lévy had dreamed of being Mitterrand’s André Malraux (unfortunately for him, Régis Debray got there first – just as, Lévy notes in Le Lys et la cendre, he had ‘stolen the part’ of the intellectual as adventurer when he was jailed in Bolivia for joining Che Guevara). More fundamentally, they identify not so much with one ...


Brian Rotman: Why did the eternal one arrive so late?, 17 February 2005

God: An Itinerary 
by Régis Debray.
Verso, 307 pp., £25, March 2004, 1 85984 589 4
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... Five years ago Régis Debray published an article in Le Monde diplomatique entitled ‘What Is Mediology?’ His aim was to open up a notion he’d introduced in passing twenty years earlier. Neither a science nor a sociology of the media, mediology, Debray explained, is a discipline of the in-between (l’entre-deux): a study of the interactions between technology and culture, between the higher modes of human activity – religion, discursive thought, art – and the lower: transmission, documentation and material production ...

The Greatest

R.W. Johnson, 4 August 1994

Charles de Gaulle, Futurist of the Nation 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 111 pp., £29.95, April 1994, 0 86091 622 7
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De Gaulle and 20th-Century France 
edited by Hugh Gough and John Horne.
Edward Arnold, 158 pp., £12.99, March 1994, 0 340 58826 8
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François Mitterrand: A Study in Political Leadership 
by Alistair Cole.
Routledge, 216 pp., £19.99, March 1994, 0 415 07159 3
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... man not only than the Marshal but even than de Gaulle. This is the sort of thing that drives Régis Debray mad. Having received a sinecure from Mitterrand, he has clearly become thoroughly disenchanted with him and has written the one book calculated to enrage Mitterrand beyond all others: a paean of praise to de Gaulle, next to whom, it is ...

Havana, 1968

Andrew Sinclair, 29 June 2017

... in our own countries. Lorrimer Publishing, my firm, would print the trials of Fidel Castro and Régis Debray and a book against the American war in Vietnam. I kept my bargain. My small experience with secret policemen is that they don’t do you in, as long as you refuse to take their money. Marianne did not go into labour on the turbulent journey ...


Tariq Ali: In Cochabamba, 21 June 2007

... Anderson, Robin Blackburn and Ralph Schoenman) sent by Bertrand Russell to attend the trial of Régis Debray in Camiri, not far from where a besieged Che Guevara was fighting to escape the Bolivian army. Debray had been captured while attempting to leave the guerrilla encampment and head home. I had also been asked ...

Guerrilla International

Caroline Moorehead, 6 August 1981

The Terror Network: The Secret War of International Terrorism 
by Claire Sterling.
Weidenfeld, 357 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 297 77968 0
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... When Feltrinelli went to Bolivia he ‘may just have gone to visit Guevara’s best French friend, Régis Debray, in a Bolivian jail at the time’. (Who is to say? Not Claire Sterling, apparently.) Feltrinelli is the target of a particularly unpleasant kind of sexual mockery. Born with ‘a shrivelled penis ... not for all the Feltrinelli money could he ...

Sacred Text

Richard Gott: Guatemala, 27 May 1999

Rogoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans 
by David Stoll.
Westview, 336 pp., £20, February 1999, 0 8133 3574 4
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... about her country and her past life. The woman who recorded her memories was Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, a Venezuelan writer with links to Cuba, formerly married to Régis Debray, who had taken part in Guevara’s guerrilla campaign in Bolivia in 1967. After ten days with Menchú, Burgos-...

Poland and the New France

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 4 March 1982

... power. In passing, we may also cite the presence in the Elysée of that interesting personality Régis Debray, who was (and may still be) a convinced supporter of Castro and Che Guevara, but who has taken a firmly anti-totalitarian stand on Poland, though it is possible that he was influential in the recent controversial decision to sell arms to the ...


Geoffrey Hawthorn, 3 December 1992

English Questions 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 370 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 375 9
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A Zone of Engagement 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 384 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 377 5
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... of society as a whole.’ But this marked the end of his early expectations. By then, he knew that Régis Debray had been right: the events in France in 1968 announced a voyage to China which, like Columbus’s, rediscovered America. They were the beginning of the end, which came in Lisbon in 1974. If there was a new beginning, it happened then. Robert ...

Double Duty

Lorna Scott Fox: Victor Serge, 22 May 2003

Victor Serge: The Course Is Set on Hope 
by Susan Weissman.
Verso, 364 pp., £22, September 2001, 1 85984 987 3
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... younger. I wish you were as you are and also a brute … I wish to understand so much less.’ Régis Debray echoes her annoyance when he writes, in a 1985 introduction to Serge’s notebooks or Carnets: ‘I’d have wished, I won’t say for more heart and less intelligence, but for him to have been a little less the conscience and a little more the ...

What to Wear to School

Jeremy Harding: Marianne gets rid of the veil, 19 February 2004

... to the barricades on matters of great international or national – sorry, republican – moment. Régis Debray, who sat on Chirac’s commission, and who is strongly in favour of the ban, has argued that religion – what we’d call RE – should be taught in state schools. It is becoming a familiar refrain. The trouble is that if you can’t teach ...

11 September 1973

Christopher Hitchens: Crimes against Allende, 11 July 2002

Pinochet in Piccadilly: Britain and Chile’s Hidden History 
by Andy Beckett.
Faber, 280 pp., £15.99, May 2002, 0 571 20241 1
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... the Yanquis without respect for ‘the rules’. Allende himself gave a series of interviews to Régis Debray, Guevara’s former epigone, in which he maintained to the contrary that a democratic transition was possible. Reviewing Debray’s book for the Times in 1971, I quoted Tawney’s old dictum that while you ...

The Ribs of Rosinante

Richard Gott, 21 August 1997

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... that Guevara received from Havana during the Bolivia campaign.The third survivor is, of course, Régis Debray. Debray visited Guevara’s camp, and on his way back was captured, tried and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment. His new volume of memoirs, Loués soient nos seigneurs, is not so much an autobiography as ...

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