Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1

By Patrick H. Hutton; Amanda S. Bourque et al. | Go to book overview

H

HALEVY, DANIEL ( 1872-1962), historian, literary critic. He was born in Paris, the son of Ludovic Halévy, a playwright, and the younger brother of Elie Halévy, an eminent scholar. He was educated at the lycée Condorcet and the Ecole des langues orientales. He wrote for literary magazines from an early age and prepared studies and translations of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Hendrik Ibsen. He had a wide circle of friends among the artistic and intellectual elite of his day.

His active support for the vindication of Alfred Dreyfus led him into contact with left-wing intellectuals, notably Charles Péguy and Georges Sorel. Attracted to the democratic socialism of Jean Jaurès, he embarked on a study of its sources, which culminated in his Essais sur le mouvement ouvrier en France ( 1901). He contributed to Péguy Cahiers de Quinzaine and obtained financial backing for the socialist newspaper, L'Humanité. But Halévy became progressively disillusioned with socialist ideology. While highly sympathetic to the cause of the working class, he believed that socialism contained authoritarian tendencies that would ultimately undermine its idealism.

His work during the interwar years reflects the libertarian viewpoint of his maturity. His brilliant studies of the early years of the Third Republic-- La Fin des notables ( 1930) and La République des ducs ( 1937)--are sympathetic to government by elites. But even his faith in old-fashioned liberalism eroded as the end of the Third Republic drew near. He expressed interest in corporatist ideas during the 1930s and defended Philippe Pétain on the fall of Vichy in 1944.

A. Silvera, Daniel Halévy and His Times ( Ithaca, N.Y., 1966).

M. Chase

Related entries: HALEVY, E.; HALEVY, L.; JAURES; PEGUY.

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Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Historical Dictionaries of French History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contributors vii
  • Preface xiii
  • The Dictionary 1
  • A 3
  • B 73
  • C 155
  • D 257
  • E 313
  • F 347
  • G 409
  • H 449
  • I 465
  • J 489
  • K 507
  • L 511
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