A History of French Passions 1848-1945: Intellect, Taste, and Anxiety

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Clarendon Press, 1993 - Fiction - 1216 pages
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This is a history of the French, which attempts to explain their idiosyncrasies, enthusiasms, and prejudices. It goes beyond a mere recital of events to investigate the attitudes and behavior over an unusually wide range of activities. The first part scrutinizes the peculiar way of thinking and of talking adopted by the French and their ambivalent feelings about foreigners. It shows what it meant to be a Breton or a Provencal, an Alsatian, or an Auvergnat. The second part analyzes French taste and the role of the artist. It enquires into the quality of life, the French view of happiness, friendship and comfort, humor, reactions to scientific progress, compromises with corruption, and superstition. This survey is a major reinterpretation of France's achievement as a nation and of the individual experiences of the French. It has taken its place as one of the great works of scholarship onmodern France.
 

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Contents

PART
3
Provincials
29
Attitudes to Foreigners
86
Education and Hope
139
Logic and Verbalism
205
Privilege and Culture
243
Universities
316
Good and Bad Taste
349
PART III
763
Private Lives
770
Individualism and the Emotions
793
Worry Boredom and Hysteria
823
Hierarchy and Violence
876
Birth and Death
948
2o Religion and Anticlericalism
983
Technocracy 1o4o
1040

Conformity and Superstition
393
Fashion and Beauty
424
Newspapers and Corruption
492
Science and Comfort
574
Happiness and Humour
646
Eating and Drinking
725
Gerontocracy
1083
Hypocrisy
1121
CONCLUSION
1154
BIBLIOGRAPHY II74
1174
ACKNOWLEDGEMENrS It8t INDEX
1183
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About the author (1993)

Theodore Zeldin, Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford.

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