Hard Hearts, Hard Rocks

Joe's work in making fire leave no one untouched.  Our next stop is in the home of a man who lived, not at the dawn of our humanity, but rather at the dawn of our modernity.  Georges Clemenceau was born under France's last monarchy.  He grew up under the Empire of Napoleon III.  And he, as much as any other human, is responsible for legitimizing the idea of a democratic republic as a viable and form of national government.  When he came to age the United States, which he loved lifelong, held large parts of its people in slavery.  France was in the hands of the Imperial Hand of Napoleon's last ruling child.

Clemenceau would have none of either slavery or despotism.  He lived for freedom and justice for all.  Many know him as the one newspaper man who would publish Emile Zola's "J'Accuse" in defense of Captain Dreyfus, the Jewish officer falsely convicted of selling secrets to the German army in the 1890's.  In France he is best remembered as the "Father of Victory" for his work in bringing his nation back from the trenches to their triumph in World War One.  No small part of that victory was his diplomatic efforts to bring Wilson and the Doughboys on board in the critical hours as the Great War was ending. 

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This page last updated on 6/9/2004 8:07:54 PM.