Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

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See also: architecture

Major works

Le Corbusier (1946) Towards a New Architecture, London: Architectural Press.
--(1947) The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning, London: Architectural Press.

Further reading

Fishman, R. (1977) Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, New York: Basic Books.

Von Moos, S. (1979) Le Corbusier: Elements of a Synthesis , Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Le Forestier, Maxime

b. 1949, Paris


Having performed with his talented sister (as Max et Cat Le Forestier), Maxime Le Forestier embarked on a solo career and was hugely successful in the early 1970s in particular. Appealing to a largely left-wing, adolescent audience, Le Forestier had hits with, among others, San Francisco and the anti-militarist Parachutiste. An outstanding lyricist whose professional stance undermines the crass commercialism of show business, he was voted best French male vocalist in 1996, having seen an upturn in his solo career.


See also: song/chanson

Le Pen, Jean-Marie

b. 1928, La Trinité-sur-Mer


Le Pen's political training ground was as a Poujadist deputy (1956-62) and as a vigorous supporter of Algérie Française. After a decade in the political wilderness, in 1972 he became the leader of the Front National, which set out to federate the diverse strands of the French extreme Right, increasingly around the themes of race and immigration. Persistence finally paid off with the Front's initial electoral breakthrough in 1983-4, and its presence has since had a profound effect on the tactics and policies of mainstream political parties. The movement, which regularly attracts around 10 per cent of the vote, owes much to Le Pen's personal appeal (15 per cent at the presidential elections of 1988 and 1995).


See also: nationalism; racism/anti-semitism

Further reading

Bresson, G. and Lionet, C. (1994) Le Pen, Paris: Éditions du Seuil (a recent biography in French).

Marcus, J. (1995) The National Front and French Politics: The Resistible Rise of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Basingstoke and London: Macmillan (currently the only book in English exclusively devoted to Le Pen and his movement; lively and accessible).

Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel

b. 1929, Moutiers-en-Cinglais, Normandy


Le Roy Ladurie is the leading contemporary inheritor of the Annales historical tradition, focusing on long-term cultural attitudes rather than on great men and events. A former Communist Party militant, he first became


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