A public talk from Dr Andy Martin (Cambridge) on 2 December 2014, CRASSH.
In 1940s New York, FBI alarm bells are ringing: the Existentialists are coming! J. Edgar Hoover has to know: what the hell is this Existentialism all about anyway – and is it some kind of code for Communism? He sets his agents on the trail of first Jean-Paul Sartre (1945) and then Albert Camus (1946). Sartre and Camus, Resistance heroes and intellectual emissaries, are sending back their reports about New York to Paris; and, at the same time, G-men are sending in their reports about Sartre and Camus. Through their reading of French philosophy, the FBI and CIA develop contrasting approaches to the concept of conspiracy.