Sudden Courage — Youth in France Confront the Germans, 1940-1945
Hardcover, 320 pp
Copyright 2019 by Ronald C. Rosbottom
Proceeds from this book sale go towards the AUSA Scholarship Fund
Nevertheless, in most histories of the French Resistance, the substantial contributions of the young have been minimized or, at worst, ignored. Sudden Courage remedies that amnesia. Amid heart-stopping accounts of subterfuge, narrow escapes, and deadly consequences, we meet blind Jacques Lusseyran, who created one of the most influential underground networks in Paris; Guy Môquet, whose execution at the hands of Germans became a cornerstone of rebellion; Maroussia Naïtchenko, a young communist uncannily adept at escaping Gestapo traps; André Kirschen, who at fifteen had to become an assassin; Anise Postel-Vinay, captured and sent to a concentration camp; and bands of other young rebels who chose to risk their lives for a better tomorrow. But Sudden Courage is more than an inspiring account of youthful daring and determination. It is also a riveting investigation of what it means to come of age under the threat of rising nativism and authoritarianism—one with a deep bearing on our own time.