Georges Mandel and the Third Republic

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9780804707312: Georges Mandel and the Third Republic

A determined, ambitious, and extremely able player of the game of parliamentary politics, Georges Mandel was one of the leading political figures of the Third French Republic. He began his public career as chief assistant to Prime Minister Clemenceau during World War I. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in 1919, he was concerned with both the internal and external affairs, attempting to reform the Parliment by the introduction of the two-party system and to maintain the Treaty of Versailles as the cornerstone of French security. But his abrasive personality and penchant for Machiavellian maneuvers, as well as the many enemies he had made during the war by his ruthless actions as Clemenceau's assistant, kept him out of the government until 1934. As minister in charge of the communications system, he won acclaim for his efficiency but antagonized the labor unions by his strong-arm tactics with strikers. Although many people cam to regard Mandel as one of the hopes of the country during the last years of the Third Republic, his sinister reputation, his failure to obtain party support and renewal of Anti-Semitism combined to prevent him from exercising decisive influence on the government. He was an early advocate of opposing Nazi Germany by force an after the collapse of France in 1940 he tried to continue the war from North Africa but was soon arrested by Marshal Petain's government. After four years in prison, he was assassinated by French Fascists.

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