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BOOK REVIEWS131 The Politics ofPessimism:Albert de Broglie and Conservative Politics in the Early Third Republic. By Alan Grubb. (Newark: University of Delaware Press. 1996. Pp. xU, 427. $55.00.) Count Albert de BrogUe was in the thick of poUtics in France from 1871 through much of 1877. Much has been written about this critical period, but relatively Uttle focusing on the Orleanists.There is no biography in any language of BrogUe, who, however, has left us his memoirs among many other kUids ofwritings . Grubb's book, therefore, is a contribution Ui putting the spotUght on this interesting and significant figure. BrogUe's paternal line was Savoyard nobUity in the service of the Bourbons by the seventeenth century. His father attained prominence under Louis PhiUppe. For several years father and son were sUnultaneously members of the Académie. His mother was the daughter ofMme de Staël and, it is said, Benjamin Constant. Broglie served Ln the diplomatic corps as a young man, but concentrated on literary and historical works during the Second Empire. In 1871 he was elected to the National Assembly, then sent as ambassador to Great Britain, and in 1873 he became prime minister, hokUng the portfolio offoreign minister at the height of the effort of the royaUsts to achieve a fusion.After the failure of the royalists to achieve unity, he contUiued to struggle for the Orleanist cause, becoming MacMahon's prime minister in 1877. He faded from public IUe with the republican victory at the poUs that year. Grubb knows the general story intimately and writes in a lively way. He uses various manuscript sources extensively, though sometimes he relies on standard pubUshed works. Despite the importance of the monarchical principle in the diplomacy of this very period when Broglie held the posts of ambassador and foreign minister, not developing this aspect of France's hapless diplomacy in a situation by which Bismarck kept France isolated would seem to be a shortcoming , smce poUtics was not confined to the French domestic scene. The archives of the foreign ministry were not used, nor were those of the Paris Prefecture of Police, which contain material that would have fitted in weU with some of his other sources. Despite the fact that the Catholic Church was part of the scheme of Ufe aU royaUsts had, and that Broglie was a notable contributor to Le Correspondant, the Church just does not seem to have been as important to him as it was to the Legitimists. The Church was everything to Chambord and VeuiUot. BrogUe's scheme of things was more complex. Grubb's organization foUows the vicissitudes of the French parUament, highlighting the setting up of the seven-year presidency in 1873, the making of the constitution in 1875, and the desperate attempts of the royalists under MacMahon in 1877. His introductory chapter about BrogUe before 1871 is very informative , as is the chapter about his last years.These chapters, however, are rather short and bring together material from known sources. BrogUe's literary side, as weU as other aspects, would make a good subject for development. 132BOOK REVIEWS The bibUography, despite some inexactitudes, is impressive.The nature of his cross-referencing in the index of names, however, is not very helpful. Despite these observations Grubb's book definitely makes a substantive contribution. Marvin L. Brown,Jr. North Carolina State University Der Volksvereinfür das katholische Deutschland, 1890-1933-' Geschichte, Bedeutung , Untergang. By Gotthard Klein. [Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Band 75.] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 1996. Pp. 597. 98.00 DM.) The People's Association for CathoUc Germany, the Volksverein, was one of the largest lay organizations mWilhelmine Germany, attaining a membership of more than 800,000 by 1914.Although it was founded in 1890 as a consequence of the Kulturkampf and in response to the formation of the explicitly antiCathoUc EvangeUcal League, the Völksverein was less concerned with combatting Protestantism and "freethinkers" than with confronting sociaUsm. Its primary goal was to educate German CathoUc workers in social, economic, and poUtical matters in order to arm them against the attractions of Social Democracy and keep them in the Church. Many of its...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 131-132
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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