In 1931, Simone Weil read an article by Louis Roubaud in the Petit Parisien that exposed the Yen Bay massacre in Indochina. That article opened Weil's eyes, and from then until her death in exile in 1943, she cared most deeply about the French colonial situation. Weil refused to accept the contradiction between the image of France as champion of the rights of man and the reality of France's exploitation and oppression of the peoples in its territories. Weil wrote thirteen articles or letters about the situation, writings originally published in French journals or in French collections of her work. J. P. Little's fluid and clear translations finally introduce to English-speaking scholars and students this important element of Weil's political consciousness.
J. P. Little, one of the world's most respected scholars of Simone Weil, is the author of Simone Weil: Waiting on Truth and numerous articles and conference presentations on Weil's life and work. She is lecturer in French (emerita) at St. Patrick's College, Dublin.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 3 Colonization Chapter 4 Letter to the Indochinese Chapter 5 Morocco, or A Lesson in Theft Chapter 6 A Little History Concerning Morocco Chapter 7 Blood is Flowing in Tunisia Chapter 8 Who Is Guilty of Anti-French Plots? Chapter 9 "These Throbbing Limbs of the Fatherland..." Chapter 10 Draft: A Protest Chapter 11 Reflections on Bouche's Lecture Chapter 12 Fragment: About the Colonial Regime Chapter 13 New Facts about the Colonial Problem in the French Empire Chapter 14 Fragment: After Munich Chapter 15 Letter to Jean Giraudoux Chapter 16 Letter to Dermenghem Chapter 17 About the Problems in the French Empire Chapter 18 Treatment of Negro War-Prisoners from the French Army Chapter 19 The Colonial Question and the Destiny of the French People Chapter 20 [Extracts from L'Enracinement] Part 21 Appendix A: Louis Roubaud. Viet Nam: the Indochinese tragedy Chapter 22 Goodnight N'Guyen! Chapter 23 Yen Bay Vespers Chapter 24 Fifteen hundred silent men Chapter 25 On the sky road Chapter 26 Wampoa school Chapter 27 "Limpid River" Chapter 28 The "Great Teacher" Chapter 29 "Right and Virtue" Chapter 30 Viet-Nam! Viet-Nam! Viet-Nam! (Cablegram of the execution) Chapter 31 Min Chen... The life of the people Chapter 32 More on the life of the people Chapter 33 Indirect taxes, salt tax, alcohol, opium Part 34 Appendix B: Albert Londres. Land of Ebony Chapter 35 Loggers Chapter 36 The drama of the Congo-Ocean Chapter 37 A few reflections after the journey Part 38 Appendix C: Felicien Challaye. Memories of colonization Chapter 39 In French Indochina: first contact Chapter 40 In the French Congo Chapter 41 In the French Congo: the situation of the natives Chapter 42 In French Indochina: the situation of the Annamites Chapter 43 Conclusion Part 44 Appendix D: Emile Dermenghem, The North-African Crisis Part 45 Brief chronology Part 46 Bibliography