Founded in Paris in June 1898, the Ligue des droits de l'homme (League of the Rights of Man) was one of the more revered institutions of Third Republic France. Established in response to the unjust and illegal conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was accused of treason, in its first forty years of existence the League went on to become the largest and most influential civil liberties organization in the world. The League had 8,000 members in its first two years and 80,000 after a decade. Membership peaked to 180,000 in 1933. This book examines the history of the League and its central role in nearly every aspect of French society and politics during the first half of the twentieth century. In particular, it looks at the League's attempt to strike a balance between its commitment to civil liberties and left-wing politics.
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