Maurice Baquet: The man behind the myth

By Doriane Gomet, Thomas Bauer

Although Maurice Baquet (1897–1965) is today a recognized figure in the history of French physical education, little is known about many aspects of his career. This article aims to analyze the twists and turns of his career and the very foundations of the myth that seems to have been formed around him. To do this, information has been gathered from many sources, including the National Archives of Fontainebleau and Roubaix, Departmental Archives, and INSEP (the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance), not to mention the books and articles published by the author. From these different data sources, we see that Maurice Baquet’s trajectory resulted from a succession of strong commitments which, although seemingly dispersed, find their coherence in a double pursuit: on the one hand, the need to break away from his modest origins to rise socially and, on the other hand, the desire to make sport—which he saw as a powerful tool for emancipation and education—accessible to as many people as possible.

  • biography
  • history
  • sport
  • physical education
  • FSGT
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