Search results for: a-certain-idea-of-france

A Certain Idea of France

Author : Julian Jackson
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A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, NEW STATESMAN, SPECTATOR, FINANCIAL TIMES, TLS BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Masterly ... awesome reading ... an outstanding biography' Max Hastings, Sunday Times The definitive biography of the greatest French statesman of modern times In six weeks in the early summer of 1940, France was over-run by German troops and quickly surrendered. The French government of Marshal Pétain sued for peace and signed an armistice. One little-known junior French general, refusing to accept defeat, made his way to England. On 18 June he spoke to his compatriots over the BBC, urging them to rally to him in London. 'Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.' At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered into history. For the rest of the war, de Gaulle frequently bit the hand that fed him. He insisted on being treated as the true embodiment of France, and quarrelled violently with Churchill and Roosevelt. He was prickly, stubborn, aloof and self-contained. But through sheer force of personality and bloody-mindedness he managed to have France recognised as one of the victorious Allies, occupying its own zone in defeated Germany. For ten years after 1958 he was President of France's Fifth Republic, which he created and which endures to this day. His pursuit of 'a certain idea of France' challenged American hegemony, took France out of NATO and twice vetoed British entry into the European Community. His controversial decolonization of Algeria brought France to the brink of civil war and provoked several assassination attempts. Julian Jackson's magnificent biography reveals this the life of this titanic figure as never before. It draws on a vast range of published and unpublished memoirs and documents - including the recently opened de Gaulle archives - to show how de Gaulle achieved so much during the War when his resources were so astonishingly few, and how, as President, he put a medium-rank power at the centre of world affairs. No previous biography has depicted his paradoxes so vividly. Much of French politics since his death has been about his legacy, and he remains by far the greatest French leader since Napoleon.

A Certain Idea of France

Author : Phillip H. Gordon
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As France begins to confront the new challenges of the post-Cold War era, the time has come to examine how French security policy has evolved since Charles de Gaulle set it on an independent course in the 1960s. Philip Gordon shows that the Gaullist model, contrary to widely held beliefs, has lived on--but that its inherent inconsistencies have grown more acute with increasing European unification, the diminishing American military role in Europe, and related strains on French military budgets. The question today is whether the Gaullist legacy will enable a strong and confident France to play a full role in Europe's new security arrangements or whether France, because of its will to independence, is destined to play an isolated, national role. Gordon analyzes military doctrines, strategies, and budgets from the 1960s to the 1990s, and also the evolution of French policy from the early debates about NATO and the European Community to the Persian Gulf War. He reveals how and why Gaullist ideas have for so long influenced French security policy and examines possible new directions for France in an increasingly united but potentially unstable Europe.

A Certain Idea of Europe

Author : Craig Parsons
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The quasi-federal European Union stands out as the major exception in the thinly institutionalized world of international politics. Something has led Europeans—and only Europeans—beyond the nation-state to a fundamentally new political architecture. Craig Parsons argues in A Certain Idea of Europe that this "something" was a particular set of ideas generated in Western Europe after the Second World War. In Parsons's view, today's European Union reflects the ideological (and perhaps visionary) project of an elite minority. His book traces the progressive victory of this project in France, where the battle over European institutions erupted most divisively. Drawing on archival research and extensive interviews with French policymakers, the author carefully traces a fifty-year conflict between radically different European plans. Only through aggressive leadership did the advocates of a supranational "community" Europe succeed at building the EU and binding their opponents within it. Parsons puts the causal impact of ideas, and their binding effects through institutions, at the center of his book. In so doing he presents a strong logic of "social construction"—a sharp departure from other accounts of EU history that downplay the role of ideas and ideology.

Certain Ideas of France

Author : H. L. Wesseling
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Wesseling, one of the Netherlands' most respected contemporary historians, offers a great variety of studies and essays on modern French history and historians. The work is unique in its combination of biographical and structural approaches.

Charles de Gaulle s Legacy of Ideas

Author : Benjamin M. Rowland
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Charles de Gaulle combined the skills to master the politics of his own day with an uncanny sense of where history was going and how to position France accordingly. The essays in this volume examine certain of the policies and themes de Gaulle pursued nationally, in the European region, and internationally, giving consideration to their significance in his own time and today.

The Road to Verdun

Author : Ian Ousby
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On February 21, 1916, the Germans launched a surprise offensive at Verdun, an important fortress in northeastern France, sparking a brutal and protracted conflict that would claim more than 700,000 victims. The carnage had little impact on the course of the war, and Verdun ultimately came to symbolize the absurdity and horror of trench warfare. Ian Ousby offers a radical reevaluation of this cataclysmic battle, arguing that the French bear tremendous responsibility for the senseless slaughter. He shows how the battle’s roots lay in the Franco-Prussian war and how its legacy helped lay the groundwork for World War II. Merging intellectual substance with superb battle writing, The Road to Verdun is a moving and incisive account of one of the most important battles of the twentieth century. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Fall of France

Author : Julian Jackson
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On 16 May 1940 an emergency meeting of the French High Command was called at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris. The German army had broken through the French lines on the River Meuse at Sedan and elsewhere, only five days after launching their attack. Churchill, who had been telephoned by Prime Minister Reynaud the previous evening to be told that the French were beaten, rushed to Paris to meet the French leaders. The mood in the meeting was one of panic and despair; there was talk of evacuating Paris. Churchill asked Gamelin, the French Commander in Chief, 'Where is the strategic reserve?' 'There is none,' replied Gamelin. This exciting book by Julian Jackson, a leading historian of twentieth-century France, charts the breathtakingly rapid events that led to the defeat and surrender of one of the greatest bastions of the Western Allies, and thus to a dramatic new phase of the Second World War. The search for scapegoats for the most humiliating military disaster in French history began almost at once: were miscalculations by military leaders to blame, or was this an indictment of an entire nation? Using eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and diaries, Julian Jackson recreates, in gripping detail, the intense atmosphere and dramatic events of these six weeks in 1940, unravelling the historical evidence to produce a fresh answer to the perennial question of whether the fall of France was inevitable.

Landscapes of Loss

Author : Naomi Greene
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In Landscapes of Loss, Naomi Greene makes new sense of the rich variety of postwar French films by exploring the obsession with the national past that has characterized French cinema since the late 1960s. Observing that the sense of grandeur and destiny that once shaped French identity has eroded under the weight of recent history, Greene examines the ways in which French cinema has represented traumatic and defining moments of the nation's past: the political battles of the 1930s, the Vichy era, decolonization, the collapse of ideologies. Drawing upon a broad spectrum of films and directors, she shows how postwar films have reflected contemporary concerns even as they have created images and myths that have helped determine the contours of French memory. This study of the intricate links between French history, memory, and cinema begins by examining the long shadow cast by the Vichy past: the repressed memories and smothered unease that characterize the cinema of Alain Resnais are seen as a kind of prelude to a fierce battle for national memory that marked so-called rétro films of the 1970s and 1980s. The shifting political and historical perspectives toward the nation's more distant past, which also emerged in these years, are explored in the light of the films of one of France's leading directors, Bertrand Tavernier. Finally, the mood of nostalgia and melancholy that appears to haunt contemporary France is analyzed in the context of films about the nation's imperial past as well as those that hark back to a "golden age," a remembered paradis perdu, of French cinema itself.

France

Author : John Girling
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First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

De Gaulle

Author : Daniel J. Mahoney
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This analysis of the thought and action of Charles de Gaulle explores the intellectual foundations of Gaullist statecraft. Mahoney's careful exegesis of de Gaulle's major writings and speeches, reveals a penetrating political thinker as well as a major political actor. He explains de Gaulle to an American public that too often sees him as a posturing figure suffering from an exaggerated and misplaced sense of personal and national grandeur. Mahoney shows that de Gaulle's defense of the "grandeur" of France is tied to a fundamentally classical view of human nature and politics. In elucidating de Gaulle's political self-understanding, Mahoney highlights the foundation of his noble but elusive moderation. Mahoney shows how de Gaulle repeatedly and explicitly rejected the cult of the Nietzschean superman, the Bonapartist separation of grandeur from moderation, and all temptations of personal and ideological despotism. He explicates de Gaulle's self-understanding as a statesman or "man of character" who comes to the service of a democratic political order in a time of crisis. He articulates de Gaulle's relationship to classical and Christian thought, his place in the French tradition, his profound debts to the Catholic poet-philosopher Charles Peguy, as well as his important affinities with Alexis de Tocqueville on the need to remain faithful to the dual imperatives of democracy and grandeur. In addition, the book discusses the principal moments of de Gaulle's statecraft from his "appeal" to resistance in June, 1940, and his founding of a new French Republic in 1958, to his articulation of a "Europe of Nations" in the 1960's. In doing so, Mahoney thoughtfully clarifies the Gaullist understanding of the "problem" of democracy: The democratic statesman must correct the corrosive acids of modern individualism, while accepting that democratic individualism sets the inescapable contours of political action in our time. Written in clear and non-technical language for both a scholarly and general audience. De Gaulle will be of interest to students of modern European political history, contemporary political theory, and those concerned with statecraft or statesmanship.

Aspects of Contemporary France

Author : Sheila Perry
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France is defined by claims of uniqueness made by or about the French. Aspects of Contemporary France illuminates the contemporary economic, cultural, political and social climate of France. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this book explains the historical background to controversial issues. It also traces France's road to nationhood through religion, language and territory. Each chapter is by a specialist in the field and is based on the most up to date information and research. Beginning with the present day, the book traces the historical background to events and provides a context for evaluation. The wide-ranging and varied themes covered include: * political parties * regions in the market place * television and film * women * secularism and Islam * linguistic policies * French consumers The book also offers a helpful chronology at the end of each chapter, a detailed bibliography and a recommended reading list. Aspects of Contemporary France presents an analytical as well as informative appraoch to French Studies. It provides a readily accessible but in-depth understanding for students of France or French civilization at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The French Exception

Author : Senior Lecturer in French Studies Emmanuel Godin
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The notion of French exceptionalism is deeply embedded in the nation's self-image and in a range of political and academic discourses. Recently, the debate about whether France really is "exceptional" has acquired a critical edge. Against the background of introspection about the nature of "national identity," some proclaim "normalisation" and the end of French exceptionalism, while others point out to the continuing evidence that France remains distinctive at a number of levels, from popular culture to public policy. This book explores the notion of French exceptionalism, places it in its European context, examines its history and evaluate its continuing relevance in a range of fields from politics and public policy to popular culture and sport.

Contemporary France

Author : David Howarth
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At least since the French Revolution, France has the peculair distinction of simultaneously fascinating, charming and exasperating its neighbours and foreign observers. Contemporary France provides an essential introduction for students of French politics and society, exploring contemporary developments while placing them in a deeper historical, intellectual, cultural and social context that makes for insightful analysis. Thus, chapters on France's economic policy and welfare state, its foreign and European policies and its political movements and recent institutional developments are informed by an analysis of the country's unique political and institutional traditions, distinct forms of nationalism and citizenship, dynamic intellectual life and recent social trends. Summaries of key political, economic and social movements and events are displayed as exhibits.

My Life in Politics

Author : Jacques Chirac
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Along with Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, and Francois Mitterand, Jacques Chirac is one of the most iconic statesmen of the twentieth century. Two-time president of France, mayor of Paris, and international politician, a recent poll voted him the most admired political figure in France, with current president Nicolas Sarkozy ranking in 32nd place. This memoir covers the full scope of Chirac's political career of more than 50 years and includes the last century's most significant events. A protégé of General de Gaulle, Chirac started political life after France's defeat in Algeria in the early 1960s. He then became Prime Minister George de Pompidou's "bulldozer" and a personal negotiator with Saddam Hussein for France's oil interests in the Persian Gulf. He sold Iraq its first nuclear reactor and incurred the wrath of the United States and Israel, which he discusses in striking detail. As mayor of Paris, Chirac was famed for his success in beautifying the City of Lights and keeping it whole during the heady days of the 1968 riots. As president in the 1990s and early 2000s, Chirac took controversial steps to privatize the economy and plan the European Union. Chirac seldom pulls punches and in several dramatic chapters describes his opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2002 and his personal meetings with George W. Bush. These landmark events are brought into sharp focus in this memoir that the popular French magazine Paris Match said "steals the show" even after its author decamped the presidential palace.

France and Its Empire Since 1870

Author : Alice L. Conklin
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Providing an up-to-date synthesis of the history of an extraordinary nation--one that has been shrouded in myths, many of its own making--France and Its Empire Since 1870 seeks both to understand these myths and to uncover the complicated and often contradictory realities that underpin them. It situates modern French history in transnational and global contexts and also integrates the themes of imperialism and immigration into the traditional narrative. Authors Alice L. Conklin, Sarah Fishman, and Robert Zaretsky begin with the premise that while France and the U.S. are sister republics, they also exhibit profound differences that are as compelling as their apparent similarities. The authors frame the book around the contested emergence of the French Republic--a form of government that finally appears to have a permanent status in France--but whose birth pangs were much more protracted than those of the American Republic. Presenting a lively and coherent narrative of the major developments in France's tumultuous history since 1870, the authors organize the chapters around the country's many turning points and confrontations. They also offer detailed analyses of politics, society, and culture, considering the diverse viewpoints of men and women from every background including the working class and the bourgeoisie, immigrants, Catholics, Jews and Muslims, Bretons and Algerians, rebellious youth, and gays and lesbians.

Rites of the Republic

Author : Mark Ingram
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In this fascinating exploration of citizenship and the politics of culture in contemporary France, Ingram examines two theatre troupes in Provence: one based in a small town in the rural part of the Vaucluse region, and the other an urban project in Marseille, France's most culturally diverse city. Both troupes are committed to explicitly civic goals in the tradition of citizens' theatre. Focusing on the personal stories of the theatre artists in these two troupes, and the continuities between their narratives, their performances, and the national discourse directed by the Ministry of Culture, Ingram examines the ways in which these artists interpret universalistic ideals underlying both art and the Republic in their theatrical work. In the process he charts the evolution of new models for society and citizenship in a rapidly changing France.

As Mighty as the Sword

Author : Alan Pedley
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This first substantial monograph in English devoted to de Gaulle's literary output examines the key role played by de Gaulle's writings in his rise to power.

Myth and Modernity

Author : Dan Edelstein
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Editors' Preface Dan Edelstein and Bettina Lerner Mythomania and Modernity Part I: From Nation to Republic Bettina Lerner Michelet, Mythologue Leon Sachs Teaching to the Choir: The Republican Schoolteacher and the Sanctity of Secularism Tyler Stovall The Myth of the Liberatory Republic and the Political Culture of Freedom in Imperial France Part II: Reading Revolution Marie-Hélène Huet The Face of Disaster Dan Edelstein The Modernization of Myth: From Balzac to Sorel Edward Berenson Fashoda, Dreyfus, and the Myth of Jean-Baptiste Marchand Part III: Mythical Selves Göran Blix Heroic Genesis in the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène Natacha Allet Myth and Legend in Antonin Artaud's Theater Jean-Marie Apostolidès Hergé and the Myth of the Superchild Lawrence Kritzman De Gaulle's Mémoires: Self-Portraiture and the Rhetoric of the Nation

Postwar

Author : Tony Judt
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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.

Sounds French

Author : Jonathyne Briggs
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Sounds French examines the history of popular music in France between the arrival of rock and roll in 1958 and the collapse of the first wave of punk in 1980, and the connections between musical genres and concepts of community in French society. During this period, scholars have tended to view the social upheavals associated with postwar reconstruction as part of debates concerning national identity in French culture and politics, a tendency that developed from political figures' and intellectuals' concerns with French national identity. In this book, author Jonathyne Briggs reorients the scholarship away from an exclusive focus on national identity and instead towards an investigation of other identities that develop as a result of the increased globalization of culture. Popular music, at once individual and communal, fixed and plastic, offers an illuminating window into such transformations in social structures through the ways in which musicians, musical consumers, and critical intermediaries re-imagined themselves as part of novel cultural communities, whether local, national, or supranational in nature. Briggs argues that national identity was but one of a panoply of identities in flux during the postwar period in France, demonstrating that the development of hybridized forms of popular music provided the French with a method for expressing and understanding that flux. Drawing upon an array of printed and aural sources, including music publications, sound recordings, record sleeves, biographies, and cultural criticism, Sounds French is an essential new look at popular music in postwar France.