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Barrés, Auguste Maurice°


BARRÉS, AUGUSTE MAURICE° (1862–1923), French writer and politician. His extreme individualism and nationalism greatly influenced his generation. He contributed regularly to the nationalist antisemitic daily La Cocarde (founded in 1888), which he edited for a while, and there propounded many of the views on blood purity, the state, and the individual which were later developed and put into practice in Germany. He also expressed these opinions in his novels. Like Charles *Maurras, Barrès was influenced by H.A. Taine, who emphasized race and environment as the determinant factors in history, and by *Proudhon, who identified capitalists with bankers and bankers with Jews. With Maurras, Barrès laid the ideological foundations of the *Action Française, a forerunner of the Fascist movement. At the time of the *Dreyfus case, Barrès was among the most vehement of Dreyfus' accusers. During World War i, however, he became an ideologist of the "Union sacrée," and temporarily setting aside his prejudices accepted the Jews as members of the "spiritual family" of France.


P. de Boisdeffre, Maurice Barrès (Fr., 1962), incl. bibl.; M.R. Curtis, Three Against the Third Republic (1959), incl. bibl. add. bibliography: Z. Sternhell, Maurice Barrès et le nationalisme français (1972); C.S. Doty, From Cultural Rebellion to Counterrevolution: The Politics of Maurice Barrès (1976).

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