In the latter half of the 1970s, the French intellectual Left denounced communism, Marxism, and revolutionary politics through a critique of left-wing totalitarianism that paved the way for today's postmodern, liberal, and moderate republican political options. Contrary to the dominant understanding of the critique of totalitarianism as an abrupt rupture induced by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, Christofferson argues that French anti-totalitarianism was the culmination of direct-democratic critiques of communism and revisions of the revolutionary project after 1956. The author's focus on the direct-democratic politics of French intellectuals offers an important alternative to recent histories that seek to explain the course of French intellectual politics by France's apparent lack of a liberal tradition.
Accounts of public intellectuals in France and French feminism have focused on a specific set of women thinkers overlooking some major women intellectuals. This book aims redresses this balance by studying these forgotten intellectuals creating a cultural and theoretical re-evaluation of the gendered phenomenon of the public intellectual in France.
Contrary to their traditional image as a caste of intransigent reactionaries and parasites, this analysis maintains that pre-revolutionary nobility actually were in the forefront of French economic and intellectual life, and until 1789, at the head of the movement for reform of the old regime.
This work focuses on the series of encounters between the most prominent French philosophers of the 1960s and 1970s and the artists of their times, most particularly the protagonists of the Narrative Figuration movement.
The essays in the first part of this collection discuss a constructivist approach to the field of comparative politics; the second part presents four case studies that illustrate constructivist analysis.
new perspectives on the intellectual and cultural history of postwar France
Author: Julian Bourg
Motivated by a desire to narrate and contextualize the deluge of "French theory," After the Deluege showcases recent work by today's brightest scholars of French intellectual history that historicizes key debates, figures, and turning points in the postwar era of French thought.
Institute for Scientific Information (Philadelphia)
Since time immemorial Europe had been dominated by nobles and nobilities. In the eighteenth century their power seemed better entrenched than ever. But in 1790 the French revolutionaries made a determined attempt to abolish nobility entirely. 'Aristocracy' became the term for everything they were against, and the nobility of France, so recently the most dazzling and sophisticated elite in the European world, found itself persecuted in ways that horrified counterparts in other countries. Aristocracy and its Enemies traces the roots of the attack on nobility at this time, looking at intellectual developments over the preceding centuries, in particular the impact of the American Revolution. It traces the steps by which French nobles were disempowered and persecuted, a period during which large numbers fled the country and many perished or were imprisoned. In the end abolition of the aristocracy proved impossible, and nobles recovered much of their property. Napoleon set out to reconcile the remnants of the old nobility to the consequences of revolution, and created a titled elite of his own. After his fall the restored Bourbons offered renewed recognition to all forms of nobility. But nineteenth century French nobles were a group transformed and traumatized by the revolutionary experience, and they never recovered their old hegemony and privileges. As William Doyle shows, if the revolutionaries failed in their attempt to abolish nobility, they nevertheless began the longer term process of aristocratic decline that has marked the last two centuries.
French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France
Author: Christian Ayne Crouch
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Nobility Lost is a cultural history of the Seven Years' War in French-claimed North America, focused on the meanings of wartime violence and the profound impact of the encounter between Canadian, Indian, and French cultures of war and diplomacy. This narrative highlights the relationship between events in France and events in America and frames them dialogically, as the actors themselves experienced them at the time. Christian Ayne Crouch examines how codes of martial valor were enacted and challenged by metropolitan and colonial leaders to consider how those acts affected French-Indian relations, the culture of French military elites, ideas of male valor, and the trajectory of French colonial enterprises afterwards, in the second half of the eighteenth century. At Versailles, the conflict pertaining to the means used to prosecute war in New France would result in political and cultural crises over what constituted legitimate violence in defense of the empire. These arguments helped frame the basis for the formal French cession of its North American claims to the British in the Treaty of Paris of 1763. While the French regular army, the troupes de terre (a late-arriving contingent to the conflict), framed warfare within highly ritualized contexts and performances of royal and personal honor that had evolved in Europe, the troupes de la marine (colonial forces with economic stakes in New France) fought to maintain colonial land and trade. A demographic disadvantage forced marines and Canadian colonial officials to accommodate Indian practices of gift giving and feasting in preparation for battle, adopt irregular methods of violence, and often work in cooperation with allied indigenous peoples, such as Abenakis, Hurons, and Nipissings. Drawing on Native and European perspectives, Crouch shows the period of the Seven Years’ War to be one of decisive transformation for all American communities. Ultimately the augmented strife between metropolitan and colonial elites over the aims and means of warfare, Crouch argues, raised questions about the meaning and cost of empire not just in North America but in the French Atlantic and, later, resonated in France’s approach to empire-building around the globe. The French government examined the cause of the colonial debacle in New France at a corruption trial in Paris (known as l’affaire du Canada), and assigned blame. Only colonial officers were tried, and even those who were acquitted found themselves shut out of participation in new imperial projects in the Caribbean and in the Pacific. By tracing the subsequent global circumnavigation of Louis Antoine de Bougainville, a decorated veteran of the French regulars, 1766–1769, Crouch shows how the lessons of New France were assimilated and new colonial enterprises were constructed based on a heightened jealousy of French honor and a corresponding fear of its loss in engagement with Native enemies and allies.