On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Stephane Hessel died. He was 95 years old. He was not well known outside of France until three years ago when, at the age of 92, he wrote and published a small, 4,000-word pamphlet. The original print run was 8,000 copies. It was 29 pages and bound with two staples.
It took France and Europe by storm. The same defiant spirit that had caused Hessel to be a hero in the French Resistance sixty years ago burned anew with the same vigor and energy. His words were few but they were strong and ignited a crackling flame of resistance.
He urged young people to unite against the injustice of a nation out of control. He called for a peaceful rebellion against what he called the dictatorial forces of international capitalism.
His plea was that the privileged classes must help the less fortunate, not grind them beneath their feet. He targeted France’s treatment of illegal immigrants, the news media controlled by the rich, the cutbacks, and the continued cutback of social safety measures for minorities, and Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians.
The fiery pamphlet struck a chord with young people upset by the policies of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. It was distributed wildly during Christmas by left-leaning parents wanting their children to become aware of the cause. Protesters responding to the economic crisis grabbed the pamphlet and held it aloft as a rallying cry across Europe.
It was quickly translated into more than a dozen languages and in less than a year sold more than three million copies. In 2011, it was published in the United States with the title Time for Outrage. It was handed to participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement that started on September 17, 2011, in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. It has now spread to over a hundred cities in the United States and 1,500 cities across the globe.
Authors of every age, young and old should be inspired by the success of this amazing author, Stephane Hessel. At Wheatmark we believe in helping authors with every step of the writing and publishing process. Whether your book is is in the beginning or final stages, tell us about your project.