Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 3 November 1983
Jean Lacouture’s study of Léon Blum is entertaining and has been very well translated by George Holoch. The book’s frequent references to French names unknown across the Channel could put English readers off: but curiosity may prevail with a British public which finds itself abruptly transported into the unfamiliar territory of French political life under the Third and Fourth Republics. The book was written during the 1970s, in the climate created by the Union of the Left, and all that that implies. It shows Blum as a fascinating, attractive and appealing personality, less easily classifiable than Jaurès.