Les Misérables was a novel by the French Human writer Victor Hugo, published in 1862, considered to be a melodrama.

It was one of Michael Eddington's favorite books and when in 2373, Captain Sisko was obsessively pursuing him for having betrayed Starfleet and the Federation in order to join the Maquis, Eddington recommended that Sisko read the book and pay close attention to the character of Inspector Javert who pursued a man, Jean Valjean, for twenty years for having stolen a loaf of bread. Eddington saw himself as Valjean, the victim of a monstrous injustice who spends his entire life helping people, making noble sacrifices for others; a romantic dashing figure fighting the good fight against insurmountable odds.

Sisko, who had read the book, did not care for Eddington's comparison but during his pursuit of Eddington, he decided to read it again, coming to the realization that he was seen as the villain, as Javert, in this scenario and had to behave accordingly. (DS9: "For the Uniform")

The use of Les Misérables in "For the Uniform" had its origins in input from Ira Steven Behr, Hans Beimler, and Ronald D. Moore. After Behr thought up the idea of Eddington sending a book to Sisko, Beimler and Moore selected Les Misérables to be the specific book. (AOL chat, 1997)
It should be noted that, throughout the episode, both Captain Sisko and Michael Eddington attribute Javert's pursuit of Valjean to Valjean stealing a loaf of bread when instead Valjean's crime was breaking parole after stealing the bread.
According to the novella "The Worst of Both Worlds", the novel (β) also existed in the mirror universe. After the Terran Republic was conquered by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance in 2295, it and other forms of "decadent" Terran art were banned.

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