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Leon Harmel: Entrepreneur As Catholic Social Reformer (Catholic Social Tradition Series)

Leon Harmel: Entrepreneur As Catholic Social Reformer (Catholic Social Tradition Series)

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Book Description"Léon Harmel" is a penetrating study of the French industrialist who from 1870 to 1914 advanced social Catholic and Christian democratic movements by improving factory conditions and empowering workers. Joan Coffey’s fascinatingnew book represents the first major study of Léon Harmel in English.

Harmel’s model factory at Val-des-Bois demonstrated that mutual accord and respect were possible between labor and management. Harmel turned his profitable spinning mill into a Christian corporation. His ethical business practices captured the attention of Pope Leo XIII and inspired his encyclical "Rerum Novarum." Harmel also encouraged his workers to make pilgrimages to Rome. The collaboration of Pope Leo XIII and Léon Harmel laid the foundation of enterprises that collectively became known as the movement of Christian democracy.

Drawing on extensive archival sources, including the Vatican Archives, Joan Coffey’s work skillfully analyzes the personal relationship between Pope Leo XIII and Léon Harmel. "Léon Harmel" also offers a timely reminder of the power of personal ethics and provides a refreshing antidote to today’s business climate.