France at War: Vichy and the Historians

France at War: Vichy and the Historians

France at War: Vichy and the Historians

France at War: Vichy and the Historians

Synopsis

This volume about the Vichy years and the German Occupation of 1940-1944 uses as a starting point Robert Paxton's Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, which provided a meticulously documented portrait of a nation consumed by indecision and self-doubt. The essays by the foremost scholars in the field place the Occupation of France in the context of other episodes in French history, and in the context of other occupied countries during World War II. They consider communities of belief during the Vichy years, examine how the experience of war and occupation shaped the everyday lives of people, and look at the ongoing reconstruction of the memory of the Vichy years.This collection of essays takes up where Paxton left off and shows how the last twenty-five years of scholarship have made problematic the tidy categories used to describe behaviour during the Vichy years. The authors point to new directions in the field and address both the myth of the 'nation of forty million resisters' that Paxton demolished and the creation of a new myth -- that the French have failed or refused to confront their past.
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