A Life Worth Living, by Robert Zaretsky

It is extremely limiting to think of Albert Camus as an existentialist philosopher of the absurd. While Camus was never trained as a philosopher, Zaretsky demonstrates that many other themes marked Camus’s thought. Camus was a highly principled person, and a strong advocate for justice. He had enemies on the left and the right—on the left for his rejection of communism and on the right for his opposition to capital punishment. As a Frenchman living in Algeria, he was highly critical of France’s subjection of the native peoples living there (Berbers and Arabs), and critical of terrorist actions by the rebels who fought for independence. On the torture of terrorists, he said: “In this way the police have given birth to terrorists who in turn have given birth to yet more police.” Camus’s voice still has resonance.