May you live in interesting times. The jury is still out on whether that sentiment is a blessing or a curse. There can be no doubt, though, that the heroines of Wolfram Eilenberger’s new book lived in interesting times and then some. Ayn Rand fled the Russian Revolution; Hannah Arendt fled the Nazis; Simone Weil took part in the French general strike of 1933 and fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War; Simone de Beauvoir went to bed with Jean-Paul Sartre.
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