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The Camp of the Saints  
Author Jean Raspail
Original title Le Camp des Saints
Translator Norman Shapiro
Country France
Language French
Genre(s) Novel
Publication date 1973
Published in
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 0-684-14240-6
OCLC Number 1174645
Dewey Decimal 843/.9/14
LC Classification PZ4.R227 Cam PQ2635.A379

The Camp of the Saints (Le Camp des saints) is a 1973 French novel by Jean Raspail. A translation by Norman Shapiro was published by Scribner in 1975 (ISBN 0-684-14240-6). It was republished in mass market paperback format by Ace Books in 1977 (ISBN 0-441-09120-2), and in softcover format by The Social Contract Press in 1995 (ISBN 1-881780-07-4); The Washington Post reports that reading the novel "focused" the ideas of John Tanton, Social Contract Press' founder.[1]



The story begins in Bombay, India, where the Dutch government has announced a policy that Indian babies will be adopted and raised in the Netherlands. The policy is reversed when the Dutch consulate is inundated with parents eager to give up their infant children as it would be one less mouth to feed. An Indian "wise man" then rallies the masses to make a mass exodus to live in Europe. Most of the story centers on the French Riviera, where almost no one remains except for the military and a few civilians, including a retired professor who has been watching the huge fleet of run down freighters approaching the French coast. The story alternates between the French reaction to the mass immigration and the attitude of the immigrants. They have no desire to assimilate into French culture but want the plentiful food and water that are in short supply their native India. Although the novel focuses on France, it is not just the people of France that befall this fate. Near the end of the story the mayor of New York City is made to share Gracie Mansion with three families from Harlem, the Queen of England must agree to have her son marry a Pakistani woman, and only one drunken Soviet soldier stands in the way of thousands of Chinese people as they swarm into Siberia.


In 1975 Time Magazine panned the novel as a "bilious tirade" that only required a response because it "arrives trailing clouds of praise from French savants, including Dramatist Jean Anouilh ('A haunting book of irresistible force and calm logic'), with the imprint of a respected U.S. publisher and a teasing pre-publication ad campaign ('The end of the white world is near')".[2] The December 1994 cover story of The Atlantic Monthly focused on the themes of the novel, analyzing them in the context of international relations.[3] (This was at about the same time that The Social Contract Press chose to bring it back into U.S. publication.[4]) In 2002 Lionel Shriver described the novel as "both prescient and appalling," unquestionably racist but "written with tremendous verbal energy and passion." Shriver writes that the book "gives bilious voice to an emotion whose expression is increasingly taboo in the West, but that can grow only more virulent when suppressed: the fierce resentment felt by majority populations when that status seems threatened."[5] William F. Buckley Jr. praised the book as "a great novel" which raised questions on how to respond to massive illegal immigration in 2004.[6] In 2005 the paleoconservative Chilton Williamson praised the book as "one of the most uncompromising works of literary reaction in the 20th century."[7] In 2001 the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the novel had been published five times in the US and was "widely revered by American white supremacists and is a sort of anti-immigration analog to The Turner Diaries."[8]


The novel is sold by Excalibur, which is the merchandising arm of the British National Party[9]




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