By William Irvine
Among Justice and Politics is a historical past of the 1st fifty years of the Ligue des droits de l'Homme—the League of the Rights of guy. this can be the 1st book-length research of the Ligue in any language, and it really is expert by way of the lately on hand documents of the association. based through the Dreyfus Affair, the Ligue took as its mandate the security of human rights in all their types. The important argument of this book—and the purpose on which it differs from all different writings at the subject—is that the Ligue usually didn't reside as much as its mandate due to its simultaneous dedication to left-wing politics. via the overdue Thirties the Ligue was once in disarray, and by means of the Nineteen Forties a couple of its contributors opted to shield the Vichy regime of Marshal Petain.
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Additional info for Between Justice and Politics: The Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, 1898-1945
In July of 1936, France was, or so many delegates believed, experiencing the dawn of a new social revolutionary age; yet the League seemed to be bogged down in academic discussions of a document produced for a revolution that was but a distant memory. The Popular Front had just taken power, and the wave of sit-in strikes in the previous month presaged for many a forthcoming social revolution. As Rosner insisted, the events of June 1936 eclipsed those of August 1789. 11 The more radical positions were, to be sure, invariably in the minority (although as the vote on Emery’s 1935 proposed reorientation of the League shows, a very significant minority) Still, the fact that the League should even be debating such issues effectively narrowed its constituency.
Yet from the beginning, most leaguers recognized that the League could not limit itself to the plight of Captain Dreyfus. As one of the first members of the Central Committee, Senator Alexandre Isaac, noted at an early meeting, “absorbing though the Dreyfus affair” was, there were many other examples of injustice crying out for redress, notably the plight of Algerian Jews. Any initial consensus about the new organization’s appropriate sphere of activity lasted exactly six days. On June 10, 1898, at the second meeting of its newly formed Central Committee, the League debated a draft of its first manifesto.
Since priests and monks were, after all, French citizens, Viollet’s concerns were not, a priori, inappropriate for the new League. But most of its founding members, like most late-nineteenth-century republicans, were genuinely uneasy about the prospect of clergy having any role in public education. Moreover, given the hostility of many elements in the church to Jews, to Dreyfus, and to the Republic, this did not seem to be the ideal moment to focus on the grievances of Roman Catholics. The Central Committee therefore proposed to restrict its first manifesto to the issues directly raised by the Dreyfus affair.
Between Justice and Politics: The Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, 1898-1945 by William Irvine