Republican Identities in War and Peace: Representations of France in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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Bloomsbury Academic, Dec 1, 2002 - History - 354 pages
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Antoine Prost's contributions to French history have enabled us to understand the failure of fascism in France and why the Republic survived the humiliation of occupation and collaboration in the Second World War. He is the pre-eminent historian of civil society in France. For the first time his seminal articles have been translated into English and collected in this single volume. Beginning with his classic account of war memorials, through his pioneering study of the people of a popular quarter of Paris in 1936, and of the troubled history of commemorating the Algerian war, this book expertly takes us through republican representations of war and peace, urban spaces and social identity, and discourse and social conflict in republican France. Amongst this range of topics, Prost considers the notion of social class and deference, the multiple uses of myth, the secularization of religious imagery, the centrality of primary schools in French political culture, and insults as staples of French political rhetoric. Included here are his famous essays 'Verdun' and 'War Memorials of the Great War', which have been hailed as indispensable additions to the study of European cultural history. Also notable is his fascinating investigation of rites de passage in Orléans, which artfully reveals how complex and semiologically rich rites de passage can be.

This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to gain a firm understanding of the history of nineteenth and twentieth century France and of the work of one of the most influential cultural historians of our day.

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About the author (2002)

Antoine Prost Professor Emeritus of History,University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne Translated from the French by Jay Winter with Helen McPhail

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