The atavistic impulse that spawned the Dreyfus affair, Begley warns, is as malignly robust as ever. Like Emile Zola, Begley deplores the current wisdom that a nation can protect itself from subversion by subverting decency, due process and the liberties on which it was founded. He frets about a future that lacks Dreyfusards. “Will there be,” he asks, “men and women ready to defend human rights, and the dignity of every human life, against abuse wrapped in claims of expediency and reasons of state?”
Yes, actually. There is, happily, more than a little Émile François Zola in Jane Mayer.