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France and the Great War (New Approaches to European History) [Paperback]

Leonard V. Smith , Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau , Annette Becker
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £22.99
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Book Description

13 Mar 2003 New Approaches to European History (Book 26)
France and the Great War tells the story of how the French community embarked upon, sustained, and in some ways prevailed in the Great War. In this 2003 book, Leonard Smith and his co-authors synthesize many years of scholarship, examining the origins of the war from a diplomatic and military viewpoint, before shifting their emphasis to socio-cultural and economic history when discussing the civilian and military war culture. They look at the 'total' mobilization of the French national community, as well as the military and civilian crises of 1917, and the ambiguous victory of 1918. The book concludes by revealing how traces of the Great War can still be found in the political and cultural life of the French national community. This lively, accessible and engaging book will be of enormous value to students of the Great War.

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France and the Great War (New Approaches to European History) + Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914-1918 (New Approaches to European History) + The Great War: 1914-1918 (Modern Wars In Perspective)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (13 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521666317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521666312
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 496,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Written with verve and punctuated by a dry wit, France and the Great War is especially successful when it discusses (in the first and third chapters) the politics, diplomacy, and military dimensions of prewar and wartime France.' Martha Hanna, H-France

Book Description

France and the Great War tells the story of how the French community embarked upon, sustained, and in some ways prevailed in the Great War. This lively and accessible 2003 book blends together diplomatic, military, social, cultural and economic history. All students of the Great War will find this book invaluable.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856), Alexis de Tocqueville described the French as a people "talented enough at anything, but who excel only at war. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
There are some useful insights in this book, but at times it loses focus about what actually happened at crucial moments of the war from the French point of view. Some parts of the book are, sad to say, rather wishy-washy. It's all very well going on about life in the trenches and the "culture of mourning" that the war produced in France, but what we need to know is - what made France different from the other combatant nations? Didn't the British, Germans, Russians, Austrians, Italians and Serbs mourn, too? The authors would have done better to follow the example of the other book in this series called "Imperial Germany and the Great War" and give us the solid, hard-hitting detail, not a sociological detour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 26 Nov 2007
I brought this book as it was on my reading list for uni.
Information on French cultural history in WWI is sparse (in english that is) and so this book was very helpful in helping me to understand what went on in France before, during and after the War. Its a useful book and will help anyone who is doing a cultural or socail history of France during the Great War.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Written as a college text... 11 May 2014
By Stephen Armstrong - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...this book is part of the Cambridge University Press' "New Approaches to European History" series. The three authors are professors of history at Oberlin, Amiens, and Nanterre.

I liked this book because the authors present a truly French (as opposed to Anglophone) history of the Great War. Because they are modern historians, they discuss in detail the structure of the narrative, and conflicting narratives, around the history, social, economic, and political struggles internal to France; the fulfillment of the Social Contract between the soldiers and the generals; and the mutual dehumanization of the "Other" in the artillery and machine-guns of the front.

Having "won" the Great War, what remained for France to do but to enter a century of public and private mourning. And within 21 years of the Versailles treaty, the Nazi's turned around and did it all over again, on a larger scale.

This is a "professional history" volume, not a trade paperback. It is very well written, however, and I learned a lot that I had not had access to in other more "popular" histories.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grad School Library 8 Dec 2012
By Kim M. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great resource addition to my library for grad school. Very informative resource material that will aid in my MA thesis.
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