The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Toward Mankind
by Weil, Simone; Eliot, T.S. (introduction); Wills, Arthur (translator)
New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1952. First American edition of philosopher and mystic Simone Weil's final book, completed shortly before her death in 1943, and first published in 1949 as L'enracinement. Toward the end of the Second World War, the Free French Resistance in London asked Weil to propose a plan for restoring core French institutions after the Liberation. Weil responded with an ambitious meditation on the needs of the soul: "The unhappy peoples of the European continent are in need of greatness even more than of bread, and there are only two sorts of greatness: true greatness, which is of a spiritual order, and the old, old lie of world conquest. . . . The contemporary form of true greatness lies in a civilization founded upon the spirituality of work." Unsurprisingly, Charles de Gaulle had little use for Weil's redemptive policy recommendations, but The Need For Roots found a wide readership far beyond postwar France. T.S. Eliot identified in Weil "a kind of genius akin to that of the saints," and hopes in his introduction that her work will transform "the attitude of mind of another generation." A near-fine copy of a modern spiritual classic. Octavo, original black cloth lettered in red, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket. Spine ends lightly bumped, lightest edgewear to jacket. (Inventory #: 100992)
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