Paul Hazard

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Paul Gustave Marie Camille Hazard (30 August 1878, Noordpeene, Nord — 13 April 1944, Paris), was a French scholar, professor and historian of ideas.


Hazard was the son of a school teacher. Starting in 1900, he attended the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He received a doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1910 and became famous for his Ph.D. dissertation La Révolution française et les lettres italiennes (1910). He began his teaching at the University of Lyon in 1910 teaching comparative literature. In 1919 he began teaching also at the Sorbonne. In 1925 he was appointed to the chair of comparative literature at the Collège de France in Paris. In alternating years, from 1932 until 1940, he was a visiting lecturer at Columbia University in New York. During the 1920's and 1930's he also lectured at other American schools. He was elected to the French Academy in 1939. After finishing his semester of teaching at Columbia University in 1940, Hazard voluntarily returned to Nazi occupied France in January 1941. He continued to teach, at Lyon and Paris, and to study. Later that same year he was nominated to the rectorship of the University of Paris, but was rejected by the Nazis as unacceptable. Working under what have been described as cruel circumstances, he completed European Thought in the Eighteenth Century. In the year of his death, an article, Pour que vive l'âme de la France (So That the Soul of France May Live), appeared in the clandestine...
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