Jean-Claude Servan-Schreiber enlisted in the French army at the outset of World War II and quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant. Despite his patriotism and courage in defending his country, in which he narrowly escaped death several times, he suffered the bigotry of his fellow soldiers until he was expelled from the army for being Jewish. He sought exile in Spain and was deported and interned in a concentration camp before he managed to join the Allied army in North Africa. He eventually participated in the triumphant liberation of his homeland.

His story, almost forgotten, would have remained unknown if not for the efforts of the award-winning and internationally bestselling author Andrei Makine, Retelling Servan-Schreiber’s dramatic life with a novelist’s skill, he reveals a man who embraced experience in all its joys and sorrows, who knew the pleasures of love amid the savagery of war, and who could forgive the hatred he was subjected to but never forget it. In Servan-Schreiber, who is now nearly a centenarian, Makine celebrates virtues that every citizen should be reminded of: self-sacrifice, honor, love of country, and true heroism.