Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1

Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1

Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1

Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic is the first comprehensive work of reference in its field, in either French or English. Containing over 750 entries written largely by American scholars, the volume scans all aspects of French civilization between 1870 and 1940. That it has become possible to compile such a volume is a measure of the maturity that the study of modern French history has achieved in theUnited States. Long in the shadow of the more popular topic of the French Revolution, historical writing about the Third Republic in this country effectively dates from the era of reconstruction after World War II when American students of French history, looking beyond the humiliation of the Vichy regime, sought to evaluate the prospects for the Fourth Republic by examining the strength and depth of the French commitment to liberal democracy in the Third. French political democracy, while in many ways unique, sprang from the same eighteenth-century intellectual sources as our own political tradition, and its development, especially as made manifest in the Third Republic, provides important parallels with the political experience of our own country. Since then, the rapid growth and diversification of historical writing about the Third Republic has continued to reflect the changing meanings American scholars have sought to derive from the French experience--from their inquiries in the 1950s into the dynamics of French parliamentary politics, to their interest in the 1960s in popular movements and radical ideologies, to their studies in the 1970s of social structure, everyday life, and popular culture. Each of these approaches has produced studies of intrinsic interest, yet each casts light on the intellectual and political preoccupations of succeeding generations of American historians. In the process, a historiographical tradition has been elaborated. The Dictionary is a useful way of gathering up these accumulating interests.

Political topics are important elements of this volume, but social, economic, and cultural issues also receive detailed attention. For this reason, the Dictionary will be a valuable resource not only for students of French history but also for . . .

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