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Ideology and ExperienceAnti-Semitism in France at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair$
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Stephen Wilson

Print publication date: 1984

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100523

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100523.001.0001

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Drumont, La France Juive and La Libre Parole

Drumont, La France Juive and La Libre Parole

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter V Drumont, La France Juive and La Libre Parole
Source:
Ideology and Experience
Author(s):

Stephen Wilson

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9780197100523.003.0005

This chapter assesses how the popularization of antisemitism as an ideology providing a total and detailed system of social explanation came in 1886 with the publication of Edouard Drumont's La France juive. La France juive was an almost instant success, selling over 100,000 copies by the end of the first year of its publication. However, the success of this large, two-volume work surprised contemporaries, and has surprised historians, who have seen it as simply “a conglomeration of stupidities and untruths,” or “a collection of scandalous or obscene anecdotes.” As such, its appeal testifies to the strength of the demand which it satisfied. As Drumont himself put it, his “only merit had been to put into print what everyone was thinking.” Meanwhile, the antisemitic movement had consolidated its influence with the foundation in 1892 of an independent antisemitic daily, La Libre Parole, edited by Drumont. By the mid-l890s, Drumont was the generally recognized leader of an antisemitic movement of some importance, “the accepted head of antisemitism.” However, though he enjoyed an “immense popularity” with the public at large, or a section of it, he was a curious and ineffective political leader.

Keywords:   antisemitism, antisemitic ideology, Edouard Drumont, La France juive, antisemitic movement, antisemitic daily, La Libre Parole

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