The Divided Path: The German Influence on Social Reform in France after 1870

By Allan Mitchell | Go to book overview

Preface

This book completes a trilogy that has occupied me for the better part of two decades. When I began the first volume, of course, I already had some notion of the third and was certain that it would treat "the social question." Yet I cannot now claim much clairvoyance about the actual contents. One needs only to scan the bibliography of scholarly publications to see how much progress has occurred in social history during recent years: over half of the titles listed have appeared since 1980. Before then, that is, many aspects of this study were literally inconceivable. There is thus good reason for me to be grateful to many colleagues who have labored mightily in the archives and whose findings have been indispensable for my own work. I hope that they, in turn, will view with some indulgence my efforts to gain footing in their areas of specialization.

A preface is hardly the place for true confessions, but the reader should realize that I was born in the United States as a son of immigrant parents (from Scotland) and as an offspring of the Depression and the New Deal. These circumstances help to explain a certain passion that I have brought to my research and writing. Not only do I hold that a society is obligated to offer equality of opportunity to citizens of every origin; I am also persuaded that politics should serve to promote that ideal, however unattainable it may be in practice. I therefore believe in the necessity of state intervention to deal with social problems. It is this premise, and not a preference for Germany over France, that has colored my judgment about events in Europe. Surely no American in my lifetime has any reason to observe with smugness the difficulties of late nineteenth-century France. In

-xi-

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The Divided Path: The German Influence on Social Reform in France after 1870
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Part One - Private Charity and Public Health 1
  • Chapter I - The Aegis of Liberalism 3
  • Chapter 2 - The Demographic Imperative 24
  • Chapter 3 - The German Model 44
  • Chapter 4 - The Sources of Social Reform 68
  • Part Two - The Intersections of Reform 95
  • Chapter 5 - Men and Women 97
  • Chapter 6 - Physicians and Patients 119
  • Chapter 7 - Paristans and Provincials 144
  • Chapter 8 - Managers and Workers 166
  • Part Three - National Crisis and Social Security 191
  • Chapter 9 - The Funding of Reform 193
  • Chapter 10 - The Dilemma of Mutual Societies 223
  • Chapter 11 - The Parable of Tuberculosis 252
  • Chapter 12 - The Embarrassment of Choice 276
  • Conclusion - Republic and Reich, 1870-1914 300
  • Notes 317
  • Bibliography 367
  • Index 385
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