Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

By Alex Hughes; Keith Reader | Go to book overview

Further reading

a
Ambler, J.S. (1966) The French Army in Politics 1945-1962, Ohio: Ohio State University Press (very good on the Algerian and Indochinese conflicts and the rancour of the professional military establishment).

g
Girardet, R. (ed.) (1964) La Crise militaire française 1945-1962, Paris: Armand Colin (a good study in French along similar lines to Ambler's, but with a slightly different emphasis).

Aron, Jean-Paul

b. 1925, Strasbourg;

d. 1988, Paris

Philosopher and historical anthropologist

Aron worked across various disciplines, including philosophy, history, sociology and epistemology. His principal works are: Essais d'epistémologie biologique, Anthropologie du consent français (which he co-authored), The Art of Eating in France (Le Mangeur du XIXe siècle), La Bourgeoisie, le sexe et l'honneur, and (with Roger Kempf) Le Pénis et la démoralisation de l'Occident, a stunning exposé of the bourgeois discourse of morality in post-revolutionary France (1820-50). In Les Modernes (The Moderns), a series of witty and highly scathing attacks on the major intellectual figures of postwar France (Sartre, Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Barthes, etc.), he decried the power and influence of the French media and teaching institutions. Aron (who was based at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris) achieved national fame in 1987 when, in a highly publicized interview for the Nouvel Observateur entitled 'Mon Sida' (My AIDS), he became the first celebrity in France to declare publicly that he was HIV positive. This act was in direct response to Michel Foucault's 'shameful' decision not to reveal he had AIDS. Aron wrote several novels and a collection of plays, producing for television histories of medicine and inventions. He was Raymond Aron's nephew.

JAMES WILLIAMS

See also: gay writing; television

Aron, Raymond

b. 1905, Paris;

d. 1983, Paris

Intellectual and journalist

Aron was one of the most prominent of France's postwar intellectuals. Educated at the École Normale Supérieure, where he was close to Sartre, he also studied in Germany, and it was his first-hand observation of the Nazi seizure of power which led to his enduring fascination with the nature of historical explanation, the claims of political ideology and the menace of totalitarianism. After the war, which he spent in London with the Free French, he sought to combine academic scholarship with political (though not, apart from a brief period in the late 1940s, party) engagement. Although he wrote widely in the fields of sociology and international relations, it was as a dedicated opponent of the philosophical claims of Marxism, and the political record of communism, that he made his name. His attack on the Marxist sympathies of the French intelligentsia in The Opium of the Intellectuals (L'Opium des intellectuels) (1955)-much admired in America and England-led most French pro-gressives, including Sartre, to view him as nothing more than a crude Cold War conservative. In fact he was an independent-minded liberal, who supported Algerian independence and criticized aspects of de Gaulle's nationalist foreign policy. His unorthodoxy, and his isolation, were further demonstrated by his response to the 1968 Events, which he mocked in The Undiscoverable Revolution (La Revolution introuvable) as a psychodrama with no historical meaning. In 1978, as the intellectual

-27-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface x
  • Introduction xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Classified Contents List xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 3
  • Further Reading 13
  • Further Reading 18
  • Further Reading 26
  • Further Reading 27
  • Further Reading 30
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 66
  • Further Reading 70
  • Major Works 79
  • C 85
  • Further Reading 91
  • Further Reading 99
  • Further Reading 111
  • Further Reading 113
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 144
  • Further Reading 150
  • Major Works 152
  • E 168
  • Further Reading 194
  • F 197
  • Further Reading 200
  • Further Reading 207
  • Major Works 214
  • Further Reading 245
  • G 252
  • Further Reading 279
  • Further Reading 280
  • H 283
  • I 290
  • Further Reading 297
  • J 302
  • Further Reading 303
  • Major Works 307
  • K 310
  • Further Reading 317
  • L 318
  • Major Works 324
  • Major Works 325
  • M 350
  • Further Reading 352
  • Further Reading 354
  • Major Works 364
  • Further Reading 379
  • Further Reading 380
  • N 388
  • Further Reading 397
  • O 401
  • P 404
  • Further Reading 419
  • Major Works 424
  • Q 449
  • R 450
  • Further Reading 462
  • Further Reading 469
  • Major Works 470
  • Major Works 472
  • Further Reading 474
  • S 478
  • Further Reading 484
  • Further Reading 508
  • T 515
  • U 540
  • V 544
  • Further Reading 549
  • Further Reading 554
  • W 555
  • Further Reading 560
  • X 568
  • Y 569
  • Index 572
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