Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
| 1 →
“The writers of history organize the events of which they write according to, and out of, their own private necessities and the state of their own selves.”1
In The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck’s fascinating account of the Parisian avant-garde, the author employed several prominent iconoclastic French artists from various fields to exemplify his themes even though they were never considered the leading figures. By focusing on lesser lights or marginally important artists, Shattuck thought he could better comprehend the phenomenon of the Parisian avant-garde since the fame and importance of the most well-known innovators of the era could easily skew the rich texture of the avant-garde.2 A study of Gustave Hervé may offer a parallel possibility for politics during the Third Republic. Even though Hervé was an important figure, especially before the Great War, he had much less stature and played a relatively minor role compared to men like Jaurès, Clemenceau, Briand, Blum, or Pétain. In hindsight, what may be most interesting about him is not his prominence before the Great War but the trends and problems which a study of his career can bring to the fore. Hervé “was a third-rate political theorist, but he was a first-rate activist”3 and polemicist. He was not a seminal thinker on the extreme French Left nor did he ever come close to attaining the political power that he apparently sought. However, the simple ideas that he espoused, the striking episodes which involved him,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.