The French century: an illustrated history of modern France
Sixteen chapters cover the history of France from the end of the 19th century to the present day, encapsulating everything from political events and scientific discoveries to cultural achievements and sporting triumphs. The five presidents of France’s fifth republic–Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, François Mitterand, and Jacques Chirac–have led the country through tremendous change in all sectors, and their respective reigns are covered in detail. The Dreyfus Affair, the May 1968 student protests, the onset of a socialist government in 1981, and two world wars are but a few French landmarks that have changed the face of Europe and the world. French culture flourished in the 20th century. Colette, Proust, Emile Zola, and Jules Verne wrote classics in literature while Picasso, Rodin, the Dadaists, and the Surrealists redefined art. Haussmann’s urban plan and I. M. Pei’s pyramid set new standards in architecture. Sarah Bernhard and Josephine Baker revolutionized the performing arts while Camille Saint-Saëns, Claude Debussy, Pablo Casals, and Maurice Ravel set the era to music. The Tour de France, Lacoste tennis, and World Cup soccer energized the sports scene. Innovations in science came from Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, and Henry Bequerel. This book includes two hundred and photographs of the main events and key personalities of the century.
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