The Civilization of France: An Introduction

The Civilization of France: An Introduction

The Civilization of France: An Introduction

The Civilization of France: An Introduction

Excerpt

The present work owes its inception to the suggestion of the publisher, who invited me to compose a counterpart to the book on England by Dibelius. The general course of my scientific work on the one hand, however, and the peculiar conditions of French national existence on the other, led me to propose a different method for the work on France. France is a living unity, which is determined quite as strongly by matters of general culture as of politics. It is impossible to understand France from the political point of view without some knowledge of her cultural outlook, and vice versa. For this reason it seemed desirable to suggest an interpretation of modern France in the form of an introduction to her culture, her politics and her economic life.

Since the two latter spheres lie entirely outside the scope of my scientific studies I would not have undertaken this piece of work had it not been for the fact that at that moment I found--in the person of my colleague at Heidelberg, Dr. Arnold Bergsträsser (Privat-Dozent)--a man who was ready to undertake the interpretation of the spheres of politics and economics. It is obvious that a division of labour of this kind is not ideal. In this instance, however, the close personal connexion between the two authors seemed to guarantee a certain measure of unity of view-point. I had to remove to Bonn, however, and our personal intercourse was thus unfortunately interrupted.

On the aim of my own contribution to this work, which I here present to the public, I would make the following remarks: this book does not aim at giving a comprehensive picture of French civilization and culture; it simply seeks . . .

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