“It is to the credit of his biographer that [Coffey] turns to the best sources so as to give us an exact account of a man of action who engaged in the debates of his time and devoted himself to those undertakings that he knew he could see through.” —Journal of Markets and Morality
“Léon Harmel makes a major contribution to understanding the Catholic social tradition by documenting his significant influence on Catholic social teaching. [W]e can be grateful for the legacy of [Joan Coffey’s] impressive scholarship. Coffey has produced an impressive intellectual biography of Léon Harmel.” —Cistercian Studies Quarterly
“This model of careful scholarship and felicitous style deserves to be read by all students of modern French history. Essential.” —Choice
“Joan Coffey’s book on Léon Harmel is a remarkable achievement in a number of ways. It provides a credible portrait of a French industrialist, turning the flat, cardboard caricature of the ‘industrial bourgeoisie’ into something both singular and complex. It enriches labor history and social history by wedding them with cultural history. It also reminds us that the tensions between corporate culture and employee autonomy are not of recent invention.” —Raymond Jonas, author of France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart
“Coffey does a masterful job of situating Léon Harmel—his life, his work, his ideology—in the context of French political and social turmoil in the last third of the nineteenth century. Coffey’s extraordinary synthesis of scholarly works on social, gender, and labor history is as impressive as her original archival research, making this book an important resource for any historian of France or of social issues. Beautifully written, it is also a great pleasure to read.” —Elinor Accampo, University of Southern California
Joan L. Coffey (1926–2013) was associate professor of history at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.