The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered: Royalism, Boulangism, and the Origins of the Radical Right in France

Overview

Recent scholarship on General Boulanger's 1888-89 bid for power in France's Third Republic has focused on the combination of socialism and national chauvinism in the movement supporting Boulanger's campaign, seeing in this alliance the left-wing origins of 20th-century fascism. In this groundbreaking new study, Irvine challenges that analysis, arguing that royalist and conservative supporters provided the crucial financial and electoral backing to the Boulanger movement. This places the origins of the ...

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The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered: Royalism, Boulangism, and the Origins of the Radical Right in France

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Overview

Recent scholarship on General Boulanger's 1888-89 bid for power in France's Third Republic has focused on the combination of socialism and national chauvinism in the movement supporting Boulanger's campaign, seeing in this alliance the left-wing origins of 20th-century fascism. In this groundbreaking new study, Irvine challenges that analysis, arguing that royalist and conservative supporters provided the crucial financial and electoral backing to the Boulanger movement. This places the origins of the exploitation of mass politics by extreme rightists in a much earlier period than has been supposed. Based on archival materials only recently made available to scholars, including the private papers of the French royal family, Irvine's book makes a major contribution to the debates in European history and sociology regarding the relationship between conservative interests and anti-democratic mass movements.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Irvine's study...enables us to understand the movement in greater depth and with more nuance. A changing climate of historiography may lead future historians to an interest in the populist side of the movement once again. But they will be hard pressed to write a history that is based upon more meticulous research to that offers a more finely crafted interpretation than [The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered]."—French Politics and Society

"Not just a vindication of an older historiography but a crucial contribution to the debate on the origins of the "Radical Right" in France....Essential reading for any serious student of the European Right and European fascism."—Modern and Contemporary France

"A valuable contribution to our understanding of the reactions of the royalist leadership to Boulangism."—French Studies

"A short, but thoroughly researched and thought-provoking account....Irvine's book closes a sizeable gap in our knowledge of the French extreme Right during the 1880s. Professional historians must necessarily welcome it."—History: Reviews of New Books

"William Irvine has written a valuable and informative book about the political strategies of late nineteenth-century French Royalists, and it should be read by anyone interested in the early history of the Third Republic."—Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195053340
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/1988
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

York University, Ontario
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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 Royalists and the Third Republic 21
2 Royalist Political Organization: An Elitist Party in an Age of Mass Politics 48
3 Boulanger: Savior of the Monarchy 73
4 Royalists and Boulangists: From Secret Support to Public Alliance 107
5 Boulangism Without Boulanger: The Elections of 1889 125
6 From Boulangism to Anti-Semitic Nationalism: The End of French Royalism 157
Conclusion 177
Notes 183
Bibliography 223
Index 233
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