Catalogue


Rethinking France : plans for renewal, 1940-1946 /
Andrew Shennan.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
description
xii, 332 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
019827520X :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
isbn
019827520X :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
1834052
 
Bibliography: p. [297]-323.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-09:
After the fall of France in the summer of 1940 Philippe Petain and his followers promised to renew a defeated nation. Their promises, however, went unfulfilled. Charles de Gaulle and the Free French also spoke of modernizing France, but after the Liberation they achieved far less than they had hoped. In this careful study, Shennan shows that the obstacles with which the reformers had to deal were virtually insuperable. They wanted to reshape the economy, the educational establishment, and the social security system, but how was a coalition of socialists, communists, and Christian Democrats to agree on a program for reform? And how was reform to be effected at a time when resources were so scarce and when the maintenance of the empire placed additional demands on those limited resources? As Shennan demonstrates, De Gaulle counted for much--the General refused to act before France had a democratically elected government, and so the critical moment was lost. This is a brilliant and thorough first work by a promising young scholar. College, university, and public libraries. -S. Bailey, Knox College
Reviews
Review Quotes
'At a time when the kind of sustained and comprehensive scholarly investigation represented by the doctoral thesis is under official pressure in Britain, this book is a superb vindication of the genre, written too in lucid and penetrating prose.'Times Literary Supplement
'excellent study ... based upon a skilful blend of original archival research and synthesis of previously published work ... this impressive book will remain the standard work on the subject for a long time to come'Geoffrey Warner, International Affairs, Vol 66 No. 4 Oct '90
'excellent study ... essentially a study of the innumerable reform projects, plans and programmes hatched between 1940 and 1944 ... Shennan displays the results of impressive research ... and his book is also a thorough synthesis of recent historiography ... not the least of Shennan'simpressive achievement is to convey most readably the excitement of a period when momentarily it seemed as if everything were possible.'EHR, April 1993
'From a mass of often intractable materials, he has made a significant, readable and illuminating book about a twentieth-century success, a great national debate that had, all things considered, a happy outcome'.John C. Cairns, Journal of European Economic History, Winter 1990.
'His book is a model of meticulous academic scholarship. It has all the archival and secondary sources that a PhD examiner could want; it also benefits from the author's sure organisational control and capacity for balanced judgement.'Modern and Contemporary France
"This a brilliant and thorough first work by a promising you scholar."--Choice
"This a brilliant and thorough first work by a promising you scholar."-- Choice
'excellent study ... essentially a study of the innumerable reform projects, plans and programmes hatched between 1940 and 1944 ... Shennan displays the results of impressive research ... and his book is also a thorough synthesis of recent historiography ... not the least of Shennan's impressive achievement is to convey most readably the excitement of a period when momentarily it seemed as if everything were possible.'EHR, April 1993'At a time when the kind of sustained and comprehensive scholarly investigation represented by the doctoral thesis is under official pressure in Britain, this book is a superb vindication of the genre, written too in lucid and penetrating prose.'Times Literary Supplement'His book is a model of meticulous academic scholarship. It has all the archival and secondary sources that a PhD examiner could want; it also benefits from the author's sure organisational control and capacity for balanced judgement.'Modern and Contemporary France'excellent study ... based upon a skilful blend of original archival research and synthesis of previously published work ... this impressive book will remain the standard work on the subject for a long time to come'Geoffrey Warner, International Affairs, Vol 66 No. 4 Oct '90'From a mass of often intractable materials, he has made a significant, readable and illuminating book about a twentieth-century success, a great national debate that had, all things considered, a happy outcome'.John C. Cairns, Journal of European Economic History, Winter 1990.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1990
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
In the wake of the defeat of 1940, the French were compelled to come to terms with their country's national decline and to accept the need for fundamental change. The great debate over the reasons for France's defeat and the sources of its future renewal was one of the most distinctive features of these critical years. Here Shennan examines the contributions that each of the major political forces made to the debate and looks at each of its major themes. His reconstruction of the mental universe of French politicians and reformers during the 1940s casts light both on the period itself and on the roots of France's remarkable post war resurgence.
Long Description
The defeat of 1940 was an unprecedented humiliation for the French people. In its wake, an entire generation was compelled to come to terms with France's national decline and to accept the need for fundamental change - political, economic, and social; domestic and international; individual and collective. The great debate over the reasons for France's defeat and the sources of her future renewal - a debate which began in the dark days of the German occupation and the Vichy regime and reached its climax in the euphoric months after the Allies had liberated Paris in August 1944 - was one of the most distinctive features of these critical years. In this book, Andrew Shennan provides the first comprehensive account of this debate. In contrast to most previous treatments of the subject, which have confined themselves to one particular group in French society or to one particular issue, Dr Shennan offers a broad-ranging interpretation. He examines the contributions that each of the major political forces made to the debate and looks at each of its major themes, from economics to empire, from schools to social security. Combining extensive primary research with synthesis of a vast secondary literature, he traces the sources, peculiarities, and outcomes of the debate about post-war renewal. His assessment of French politicians and reformers during the 1940s casts light both on the period itself and on the roots of France's remarkable post-war resurgence.
Main Description
The defeat of 1940 was an unprecedented humiliation for the French people. In its wake, an entire generation was compelled to come to terms with France's national decline and to accept the need for fundamental change - political, economic, and social; domestic and international; individualand collective. The great debate over the reasons for France's defeat and the sources of her future renewal - a debate which began in the dark days of the German occupation and the Vichy regime and reached its climax in the euphoric months after the Allies had liberated Paris in August 1944 - wasone of the most distinctive features of these critical years. In this book, Andrew Shennan provides the first comprehensive account of this debate. In contrast to most previous treatments of the subject, which have confined themselves to one particular group in French society or to one particular issue, Dr Shennan offers a broad-ranging interpretation. Heexamines the contributions that each of the major political forces made to the debate and looks at each of its major themes, from economics to empire, from schools to social security. Combining extensive primary research with synthesis of a vast secondary literature, he traces the sources,peculiarities, and outcomes of the debate about post-war renewal. His assessment of French politicians and reformers during the 1940s casts light both on the period itself and on the roots of France's remarkable post-war resurgence.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Regimes and Renewal: Vichy's National Revolution, 1940-1942
The Resistance: Liberation and renovation
Free France and the new France
De Gaulle and the Parties at Liberation
Themes of Renewal: Constitutional reform
Imperial renovation and the Union Francaise
The New Society I: Educational reform
The New Society II: Dissolving class conflict
The New Society II: Pro-Nationalism and Social Security
The New Economy I: Chronology
The New Economy II: Issues
Conclusions
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem