“It was Zola’s firm conviction that sustained him during the anguished hours, which kept him from becoming discouraged when mists obscured the image of truth. It is to his heroism that we pay homage; we can assure you in all conscience that the future will reap you a harvest of equity and infinite hope which he helped sow and in which we share today.”
Gaston Doumergue Minister of Education and Fine Arts of France 1908
And a decade earlier mobs were shouting Death to the Jews! Death to Zola! And Florida today must be declared the repugnant epicenter as DeSantis has allied his campaign with a pastor whose views are unfit for any man in politics and Donald Trump who Jews gave a pass to over Israeli diplomacy and Jewish grandchildren. Trump and his party have pushed along The Great Replacement Theory and its accompanying mob. What has Trump done in almost two years to stop that hate in our nation?
Emile Zola was taken from a cemetery in Paris to be honored in the Pantheon as a national hero. And buying and reading the contents of his biography have taught me more than I could have imagined. In recent years, I have selected books to read that would teach me more about New York, for example. The New York City where my parents grew up or the Long Island that I moved to long before I was even born. This is a powerful lesson to young people everywhere. Oh and I learned that my great hero was an anti-Semite. This was a moment to learn more about my roots and this book clearly was perhaps one of the most amazing reads of all time.
Zola was not a socialist and there are countless references to his “bourgeois” character. Marxism was well known for decades. This was Europe where things could go viral quickly, even with no internet.
I noticed within minutes of writing that sentence about Marxism the matter of Professor Lax at CCNY. Should I send this article to him and to others?
I have made notes on paper and mental notes to share soon after my life gets back to normal upon my return home.
Emile Zola by Alan Schom. Jews and others who care about social justice can learn much more now about one of the most important writers of all time. Emile Zola!
Zola was well prepared to attack the right-wing government, the French military, the monarchists, the Catholic church, the mob of anti-Semites across France, the gutter press, the courts that were complicit that obstructed justice, and that included men who were once friends or associates in the literary world. Journalists today can learn important lessons right now to repeat the work that he did to save the honor of France.