On the joyous occasion of opening the first session of the new Chamber, Leon Blum found himself confronted with the worst wave of anti-Jewish feeling in France since the Dreyfus Affair. The rightist Xavier Vallat taunted the new premier mercilessly in the Chamber of Deputies:
These events transpired while National Socialist Germany was arming next door to France on a round-the-clock schedule. As an aftermath of the disorders, some members of the military hierarchy began to talk openly of getting rid of the Republic. French voters, however, mistakenly thought they had a solution. Moving starkly forward as a one-man national rescue team strode the leader of the Socialist party, Leon Blum. In July 1934, Blum signed a “pact” between his Socialist party and the Communists calling for a “Popular Front” against French Fascism, although some observers wondered just what the Fascists had to do with the government corruption. In April 1936, after two more years of intensive German rearmament on the other side of the Rhine, Blum was the victim of a racial assault by disgruntled French rightists, who beat and kicked him ferociously after dragging him from his limousine. In May 1936, the Popular Front’s election victory swept Blum into power as premier. By way of celebration, union leaders called a series of paralyzing strikes throughout France, beginning at aircraft factories and moving into the automobile industries.
The Burden of Responsibility : Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century
Leon Blum (World Leaders Past and Present)
"Twenty years ago, Pierre Birnbaum wrote a brilliant Political History of State Jews in France, and now he has written a beautiful biography of the greatest of the state Jews. Leon Blum has never gotten the recognition he deserves as a French statesman, a socialist leader, and a proud Jew. That will change with this book."-Michael Walzer, author of The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions -- Michael Walzer "A succinct, interesting, and compelling overview of the life of French politician and former Prime Minister Leon Blum. Pierre Birnbaum draws on a rich series of primary sources that bring Blum and his adversaries to life."-Maud S. Mandel, author of Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict -- Maud S. Mandel "The most concise of the authoritative biographies...It also makes clearer than the others how fully Blum assumed his Jewish identity, though in a rationalist, universalist, and civic form that was essentially secular. Finally, Birnbaum's biography is the most personal so far."-Robert O. Paxton, New York Review of Books -- Robert O. Paxton New York Review of Books "Brief, eloquent, and beautifully translated ... A valuable introduction and guide to one of the most important, if overlooked, figures in the history of modern France and, indeed, modern Europe."-James McAuley and Patrice Higonnet, New Republic -- James McAuley and Patrice Higonnet New Republic "[Blum's] importance for an understanding of modern France is lucidly summarized in Pierre Birnbaum's Leon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist."-Frederick Brown, Wall Street Journal -- Frederick Brown Wall Street Journal "Birbaum has drawn a sharp portrait that centres on Blum's Jewishness... It is indeed timely that the Yale Jewish Lives series should have commissioned this wonderful, readable book, with the impressive Arthur Goldhammer responsible, as with many other recent French histories, for a clear and fluent translation."-Julian Wright, TLS. -- Julian Wright TLS "Illuminating ... Birnbaum's insightful account allows readers to consider the comparison between today's anti-Semitism and that of an earlier era and opens up new ways of thinking about the present."-Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs "...a surprisingly human portrait of the Zionist socialist and three-time prime minister of France."-Melody Amsel-Arieli, Segula -- Melody Amsel-Arieli Segula
Leon Blum's immediate neighbors in , are 14 individuals in 5 households.