FRANCE: My Generation Failed . . .

"Papa," said the boy Leon Blum, "how dare you sell your ware for more money than you paid for it?" There is no record of Papa Blum's answer; of Alsatian Jewish stock, a Parisian merchant in the reign of Napoleon III, he went right on selling laces and ribbons for a tidy profit. But son Leon rebelled against what he later called the dishonesty and decay of bourgeois capitalism.

He was always a lace-and-ribbon rather than a cap-and-sweater socialist. He adored reason and persuasion above emotion and force. He also loved the elegance...

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