By Pierre Birnbaum
This biography totally integrates Blum’s Jewish commitments into the bigger tale of his lifestyles. in contrast to earlier biographies that downplay the importance of Blum’s Jewish historical past on his innovative politics, Pierre Birnbaum’s portrait depicts a rare guy whose political convictions have been formed and pushed by way of his cultural history. the writer powerfully demonstrates how Blum’s Jewishness used to be primary to his outlook and project, from his earliest access into the political area in response to the Dreyfus Affair, and the way it sustained and encouraged him through the rest of his lifestyles. Birnbaum’s Léon Blum is a serious bankruptcy within the higher heritage of Jews in France.
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Extra resources for Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist
78 His wife’s silence worried him: “You tell me that Robert is charming. I know it. What I want to know is how you are doing and feeling. I think you were deliberately silent about this, and I don’t really know why. Anyway, until tomorrow. ”79 Lise was ill, however, and declining rapidly despite treatment. She died in December 1931. 80 Thérèse followed the daily progress of Léon’s campaign and commented as a committed militant on the traps that were being laid for him. From a distance she railed against his rivals: “You tell me that you don’t feel these attacks.
During the war years, Thérèse’s passion knew no bounds. She eagerly awaited his return whenever he left her to spend time with his family: “My love, my love. I’ve just heard the sound of your voice. It’s Léon. I jumped for joy. How I jumped! It was on the phone! How cruel it is to be so close and yet so far. . I desperately reach out to you. ”43 In another letter she wrote: “My thoughts are with you at every moment. They are quite sad, I assure you. But you love me, I know. . I am reading [your book on] Stendhal.
14 It was in a sense the realization of the Saint-Simonian project of which Lucien Leuwen dreamed. 15 Stendhal and Blum thus shared many traits. Stendhal quickly abandoned his plan to enter the École Polytechnique. Blum behaved in such a way that he was expelled from the École Normale Supérieure in his first year. 16 Yet Blum, like Stendhal, became one of the Council of State’s respected auditors. ”17 Love was thus the greatest thing in both men’s lives— love anticipated, sought after, and conquered in open combat.