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A State Jew

David A. Bell: Léon Blum

5 November 2015
Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist 
by Pierre Birnbaum, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Yale, 218 pp., £14.99, July 2015, 978 0 300 18980 3
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... That same spring, Blum became prime minister. As has been the case throughout the history of modern France, spectacular anti-Semitic violence coexisted with remarkable successes for French Jewry. As PierreBirnbaum writes in the introduction to his new book, part of a series called ‘Jewish Lives’, France ‘is virtually the only country in the world, apart from Israel, that has several times chosen ...

Family Stories

Patrice Higonnet

4 August 1994
The Past in French History 
by Robert Gildea.
Yale, 416 pp., £30, February 1994, 0 300 05799 7
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La Gauche survivra-t-elle aux socialistes? 
by Jean-Marie Colombani.
Flammarion, 213 pp., frs 105, March 1994, 2 08 066953 2
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... Age, and the Leader. But Gildea follows this suggestive lead only fitfully. He chronicles Protestant traditions in excellent detail, for example; but he does not have much to say about the Jews, whom PierreBirnbaum recently described as ‘Les fous de la République’. One would like to know more also about the para-political myths of rural and urban life (George Sand and Flaubert) or the Walter ...

Blumsday

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

3 November 1983
Léon Blum 
by Jean Lacouture, translated by George Holoch.
Holmes & Meier, 571 pp., $39.50, October 1982, 0 8419 0775 7
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... and the Americans, whose excessive influence he mistrusted, he tried to define the hard road of a humanist socialism. He also attempted (something which is greatly to his credit) to save the life of Pierre Laval, about whose execution de Gaulle was to show fewer scruples. In 1947 he served a final term as leader of the provisional government. Visiting the United States, he confirmed his deep-seated ...

Exhibitionists

Hal Foster: Curation

3 June 2015
Ways of Curating 
by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Penguin, 192 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 241 95096 8
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Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World – And Everything Else 
by David Balzer.
Pluto, 140 pp., £8.99, April 2015, 978 0 7453 3597 1
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... a new hunger among artists for live experience’, and like his curatorial colleagues in ‘relational aesthetics’, Nicolas Bourriaud, head of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and Daniel Birnbaum, director of the Moderna Museet, he is devoted to ‘time-based’ art, especially performances and installations staged by artists of his generation like Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe ...

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