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Fighting France   By: (1874-)

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First Page:

FIGHTING FRANCE

BY

STEPHANE LAUZANNE LIEUTENANT IN THE FRENCH ARMY, CHEVALIER OF THE LEGION OF HONOR EDITOR IN CHIEF OF THE "MATIN," MEMBER OF THE FRENCH MISSION TO THE UNITED STATES

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JAMES M. BECK, LL.D. LATE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

TRANSLATED BY JOHN L. B. WILLIAMS, A.M. SOMETIME FELLOW OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK LONDON

1918

Copyright, 1918, by

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Printed in the United States of America

TO

MY CHIEFS MY COMRADES MY MEN WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR THE GREAT CAUSE OF LIBERTY AND CIVILIZATION

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED

FOREWORD

To be Editor in Chief of one of the greatest newspapers in the world at twenty seven years of age is a distinction, which has been enjoyed by few other men, if any, in the whole history of journalism. There may have been exceptional instances, where young men by virtue of proprietary and inherited rights, have nominally, or even actually, succeeded to the editorial control of a great metropolitan newspaper. But in the case of M. Stéphane Lauzanne, his assumption of duty in 1901 as Editor in Chief of the Paris Matin was wholly the result of exceptional achievement in journalism. Merit and ability, and not merely friendly influences, gave him this position of unique power, for the Matin has a circulation in France of nearly two million copies a day, and its Editor in Chief thereby exerts a power which it would be difficult to over estimate.

M. Lauzanne was born in 1874 and is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of Paris. Believing that journalism opened to him a wider avenue of usefulness than the legal profession, he preferred as the event showed most wisely to follow a journalistic career. In this choice he may have been guided by the fact that he was the nephew of the most famous foreign correspondent in the history of journalism. I refer to M. de Blowitz, who was for many years the Paris correspondent of the London Times , and as such a very notable representative of the Fourth Estate. No one ever more fully illustrated the truth of the words which Thackeray, in Pendennis, puts into the mouth of his George Warrington, when he and Arthur Pendennis stand in Fleet Street and hear the rumble of the engines in the press room. He likened the foreign correspondents of these newspapers to the ambassadors of a great State; and no one more fully justifies the analogy than M. de Blowitz, for it is profitable to recall that when in 1875 the military party of Germany secretly planned to strike down France, when the stricken gladiator was slowly but courageously struggling to its feet, it was de Blowitz, who in an article in the London Times let the light of day into the brutal and iniquitous scheme, and by mere publicity defeated for the time being this conspiracy against the honor of France and the peace of the world. Unfortunately the coup of the Prussian military clique was only postponed. Our generation was destined to sustain the unprecedented horrors of a base attempt to destroy France, that very glorious asset of all civilization.

De Blowitz took great interest in his brilliant nephew and at his suggestion Lauzanne became the London correspondent of the Matin in 1898, when he was only twenty four years of age. This brought him into direct communication with the London Times which then as now exchanged cable news with the Matin , and it was the duty of the young journalist to take the cable news of the "Thunderer" and transmit such portions as would particularly interest France to the Matin , with such special comment as suggested itself. How well he did this work, requiring as it did the most accurate judgment and the nicest discrimination, was shown when he was made Editor in Chief of the Matin in 1901.

His tenure of office was destined to be short for, when the world war broke out, M... Continue reading book >>




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