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Born July 5, 1872, in Troyes, Aube Department; died Mar. 26, 1957, in St.-Genis-Laval, Rhône Department. French political and state figure. Member of the Académie Française (1946).
A literature teacher by profession, Herriot was mayor of Lyon from 1905 to 1940 and from 1945 to 1955. From 1919 to 1957 (except for brief periods) he was the chairman of the Radical Socialist Party. He was a senator from 1912 to 1919 and a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1919 to 1940 and from 1946 to 1957.
Herriot was minister of public works, transportation, and supply in 1916 and 1917. In the 1920’s he opposed R. Poincaré’s reactionary policies and helped found the Left Bloc (Cartel des Gauches). In 1924 and 1925, Herriot was prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. His government enacted several democratic reforms, withdrew French troops from the Ruhr, and established diplomatic relations with the USSR (1924). Herriot was president of the Chamber of Deputies in 1925 and 1926 and from 1936 to 1940. He was prime minister from July 19 to July 21, 1926; minister of public education from 1926 to 1928; prime minister and minister of foreign affairs in 1932; and minister of state from 1934 to 1936.
Herriot fought against reaction, urged resistance to fascism and aggression, and advocated the development of Soviet-French cooperation. In 1932 his government signed a nonaggression treaty with the USSR. Herriot opposed the Vichy government in World War II; in 1942 he was arrested and interned by the fascist German aggressors. He was chairman of the National Assembly from 1947 to January 1954 and remained honorary chairman until his death. He supported the Fourth Republic after its establishment, and he opposed the rearmament of Germany and the formation of the European Defense Community.
Herriot was the author of a number of works on public affairs, history, and literature.
WORKSJadis, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1948–52.
In Russian translation:
Izproshlogo: Mezhdu dvumia voinami, 1914–1936. Moscow, 1958.
M. M. NARINSKII