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Clemenceau the man and his time

by H.m.hyndman

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Text extracted from opening pages of book: GEORGES CLEMENCEAU 1918 First Printed Printed in Great Britain by W. H. Smith & Son, The Arden Press. Stamford Street, London, CONTENTS CHAP. PAGE INTRODUCTION ...... 7 JL^ EARLY LIFE ...... 13 II. PARIS UNDER THE EMPIRE 22 III. DOWNFALL AND EECONSTRUCTION ... 29 IV. THE COMMUNE ...... 41 V. CLEMENCEAU THE EADICAL .... 53 VI. PROM GAMBETTA TO CLEMENCEAU . . 64 VII. THE TIGER 80 VIII. THE EISE AND EALL OF BOULANGER . . 95 IX. PANAMA AND DRAGUIGNAN .... 106 X. PHILOSOPHER AND JOURNALIST . . . 127 XI. CLEMENCEAU AS A WRITER . . . .141 XII. CLEMENCEAU AND THE DREYFUS AFFAIR . 151 XIII. THE DREYFUS AFFAIR ( II) .... 162 XIV. As ADMINISTRATOR . . . . .171 XV. STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF OLEMENCEAU , 202 XVI. END OF CLEMENOEAU'S MINISTRY . . . 220 XVII. CLEMENCEAU AND GERMANY . . . 233 XVIII. THE GREAT WAR 247 XIX. THE ENEMY WITHIN ... .257 XX. LA VICTOIRE INTEGRALS ... 281 XJQ. CONCLUSION 295 INTRODUCTION I BEGAN to write this book in June. We were then holding onr breath as we looked on, after the disasters of Cambrai and St. Quentin, upon the British troops still fighting desperately against superior numbers and defending the Channel Ports with their backs to the wall JJ and barely left with room to manoeuvre. The enemy was - at the same time seriously threatening Amiens and Epernay, and the possible withdrawal of the French Government from Paris was being again discussed. It was a trying four months on both sides of the Channel. But England and France never despaired of the future. Both nations were determined . to fight on to the last. In July came the second great victory of the Marne, followed by the wonderful triumphant advance of the Allied Armies all along the line., side by side with our brethren of the United States, who were pouring into France at the rate of 300,000 men a month. And now I finish when the all-important matter of discussion is what shall be the terms of permanent peace imposed upon Germany, what shall be the punish ment inflicted upon her and, so far as is possible, the compensa tion exacted from her for her unforgivable crimes against our common humanity. The transformation scene of the huge world war within four months has been one of the most astounding episodes in the history of mankind, and the tremendous struggle on the West Front has proved, as it was bound to prove from the first, the crisis of the whole conflict. Throughout the terrible period from November. 1917, when for the second time in his long political career he took office as Premier of the French Eepublic, Georges Olemenceau has borne the full burden of political responsibility in his war-worn and devastated country. It has been no light task for any INTRODUCTION man, especially for one within easy hail of eighty years of age. When he became President of Council and Minister of War the prospect of anything approaching to complete success seemed remote indeed. It was a thankless post he assumed, and neither friends nor enemies believed at first that physically, mentally or politically could he bear the strain and overcome the intrigues which were at once set on foot against him. But those who had the advantage of knowing Clemenceau well took a much more hopeful view of his chances of remaining Prime Minister until the close of the war. His mind as well as his body has been in strict training all his life. The one is as alert and as vigorous as the other. In the course of his stirring career his lightness of heart and gaiety of spirit, his power of taking the most discouraging events as part of the day's work, have carried him triumphantly through many a difficulty* Personally, I felt confident that nothing short of unforeseen disease,, or a bomb from the foreign or domestic enemy, would bring him down before he had done his work. For below hi& exterior vigour and his brilliancy of conversation he possesses the most relentless determination that ever inspired a human being. Moreover, a Frenchman may



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