Following in the footsteps of Basil Saharoff

Following in the footsteps of Basil Saharoff

“The Devil Speaks All Languages”, Jennifer Richard, Albin Michael, 432 pages, € 21.90, digital € 15.

The arms dealer, banker, philanthropist, press, oil magnet, and wealthy Basil Saharoff (1849-1936) caused a great deal of ink to flow. Against and against him. Writers (from Romain Gary, Gunther Schwab, Herge) and historians since the 1920s have described this son of a small Greek merchant born in the Ottoman Empire as the master of the world. An eagle that has caused millions of deaths. Its poor and obscure origins, polyglotism, its lofty rise in the arms trade, its proximity to the leaders of the great powers, and its discretion have given it many legends and rumors that give it depth. ‘A character from a novel.

Before writing The devil speaks all languages, Jennifer Richard read everything she could find in the Saharof, while documenting the politicians and businessmen he worked for and the areas where he found evidence, from the Spanish-American War to the Greco-Turkish War from 1898 (1919-1922), 14-18. Is he the personification of the evil often described? Against this simple view, not only was Saharof not bad at heads of state (French Jorge Clemenzio, English Lloyd Jorge), but he may also have attributed particular traits to his reputation for “benevolence” as a result of his charitable activities or the sale of arms to two rivals. “His race”.

“An Anarchist Prism”

Saharoff’s path is of interest to Jennifer Richard, as it allows her to continue her reflection on a subject that disturbs the way she sees the world while working on her previous novel about colonization. This beautiful country is yours (Albin Michael, 2018): Lack of state morality. “I have always had the sincere idea that the government is working for the good of the people, no matter what She explains to the “world of books”. I had a political shock when I read about colonization. Speeches in parliaments and what the media at the time said was wrong about what was happening in Africa and South America. It created an anarchist prism in me. “ Since then, they have not stopped wondering how a people accept the way the authorities present things to them, whether it is about the benefits of colonization or the necessity of war.

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