Georges Clemenceau

Georges Clemenceau

Georges Clemenceau

Georges Clemenceau

Excerpt

Every time a celebrated political personage dies one, two or a host of his surviving intimates and associates fill their fountain- pens, send out for writing paper, hire secretaries and make contracts with publishers to the end that their dead friend or master may be suitably recorded for those who already knew all about him. Occasionally posterity is taken into account, but not often or seriously. The biographer's principal intention is to write an extended obituary notice, pointing out the deceased's virtues, the so frequent occasions on which he was right and his enemies wrong, and, if possible, to produce hitherto unpublished documents wherewith to support new, interesting, and perhaps sensational revelations.

This book has no such purpose. The impulse which led to its writing and the circumstances under which it was written are fully set forth by the author in his first chapter and need not be elaborated here. His unique contact with Clemenceau led to an unrivalled opportunity for knowledge of him, particularly during those nightmare days of the last year of the war. That knowledge, as in the case of countless others, led to respect and boundless admiration; but in the case of M. Martet, this admiration went a step further and became a deep and lasting affection -- an affection which its subject but rarely commanded in his active and pugnacious career.

But it is an affection which frankly stops short of idolatry.

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