Eric Hazan, Publisher And Historian On France’s Left, Dies At 87

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The French intellectual community is mourning the loss of Eric Hazan, a renowned publisher, historian, and champion of France’s left-wing movement. Hazan passed away on January 6, 2023, at the age of 87, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking work that shaped the country’s understanding of its complex history and politics.

Born on May 30, 1936, in Paris, France, Hazan was raised in a family of intellectuals and developed a passion for history and politics from an early age. He went on to study at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, where he earned a degree in philosophy. Hazan’s academic background laid the foundation for his future endeavors as a publisher and historian.

Hazan’s publishing career spanned over five decades, during which he founded several influential publishing houses, including Éditions La Fabrique and Éditions Amsterdam. Through these ventures, he played a crucial role in promoting the work of prominent left-wing thinkers, historians, and writers, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Pierre Bourdieu. Hazan’s publishing houses became a hub for intellectual debate and discussion, fostering a culture of critical thinking and progressive ideas.

As a historian, Hazan was particularly interested in the French Revolution and its legacy. His seminal work, “L’Invention de Paris” (The Invention of Paris), published in 2002, offered a fresh perspective on the city’s history, highlighting the role of popular movements and revolutionary ideals in shaping the capital’s development. The book was widely acclaimed and established Hazan as a leading authority on French history.

Hazan’s commitment to the left-wing movement was unwavering, and he remained a vocal critic of neoliberalism and social injustice throughout his life. He was a strong supporter of the French Resistance and the anti-colonial movement, and his work reflected his deep empathy for the struggles of the working class and marginalized communities.

Throughout his career, Hazan received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to French intellectual life. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Médicis Essai for his book “L’histoire continue” (History Continues), a sweeping narrative that explored the complexities of French history from the Revolution to the present day.

Hazan’s passing has been met with an outpouring of tributes from across the French intellectual and political spectrum. His colleagues and friends have praised his unwavering commitment to progressive values, his intellectual curiosity, and his generosity as a publisher and mentor.

As France mourns the loss of this intellectual giant, his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of historians, writers, and thinkers. Eric Hazan’s work will remain a testament to the power of ideas and the importance of critical thinking in shaping a more just and equitable society.

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