David Watson was senior lecturer in History at the University of Dundee for many years until his retirement. His field is European history, especially French; after writing a major biography of Clemenceau more than thirty years ago, he continued to research and write upon his life and on related topics in French and European history. His principal publications are The Nationalist Movement in Paris 1900-1906 (1962), Marcel Proust and Joseph Reinach, Modern Languages Review (1966), 'The treaty of Versailles' in N Waites (ed.), Troubled Neighbours (1971), Life of Charles I (1972), Clemenceau, A Political Biography (1974), 'France, Europe and the World since 1880' in J McMillan (ed.), The Oxford History of Modern France (2003).
Georges Clemenceau: Franceby David Watson
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The Anglo-Saxon view of Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) is based on John Maynard Keynes's misjudged caricature, that he had imposed a treaty that was harsh and oppressive of Germany. French critics' view, however, is that he had been too lenient, and left Germany in a position to challenge the treaty. In fact the treaty was a just settlement, and it could have been maintained. The failure was not in the terms of the treaty but in the subsequent failure to insist on maintaining them in the face of German resistance.
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