Catalogue


The politics of rural life : political mobilization in the French countryside, 1845-1852 /
Peter McPhee.
imprint
New York : Clarendon Press, 1992.
description
310 p. : maps.
ISBN
0198202253
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Clarendon Press, 1992.
isbn
0198202253
catalogue key
2653194
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-04:
The politics of the peasantry under the Second French Republic has long stood as one of the great riddles in the history of 19th-century France. Any satisfactory account must be able to explain both the courageous peasant insurrection of 1851 against the coup d''etat of Louis-Napol'eon Bonaparte and these same peasants' overwhelming approval of the authoritarian Bonapartist regime in a plebiscite later that year. Previous explanations have emphasized the persistence of a confused and archaic peasant politics or have depended on the device of an interrupted political "apprenticeship" of a peasantry becoming acquainted with modern politics. McPhee argues in a brisk and passionate narrative that whole sections of the French peasantry supported a kind of democratic socialism, which they sought to secure through insurrection in 1851. The failure of that insurrection, and the repression and state terror it engendered, account for the peasantry's subsequent plebiscitary validation of the Bonapartist regime. McPhee's book can be interpreted in part as an extended critique of the historiography of 1848 and should be read along with one of the historians (Maurice Agulhon, Ted Margadant) whose ideas he sharply engages. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty. R. A. Jonas; University of Washington
Reviews
Review Quotes
'a brisk and passionate narrative ... an extended critique of the historiography of 1848'R.A. Jonas, University of Washington, Choice, Apr '93
'Frequently one reads books with one good idea in them: it is rare to find a work with three. Peter McPhee's The Politics of Rural Life is just such a book ... It would be an understatement to say that this is an ambitious work. Despite the complexity of the subject matter and the intricacyof the debates which surround the issues, McPhee's book is both accessible and coherent ... 'The Political Geography of France', which includes McPhee's eloquent plea for a new historiographical approach to rural society. All historians, and anyone interested in the development of french politicallife, would benefit from reading this chapter alone ... The Politics of Rural Life seems set to become a standard work on this complex topic.Modern and Contemporary France 1993
'Frequently one reads books with one good idea in them: it is rare to find a work with three. Peter McPhee's The Politics of Rural Life is just such a book. It would be an understatement to say that this is an ambitious work. Despite the complexity of the subject matter and the intricacy ofthe debates which surround the issues, McPhee's book is both accessible and coherent. 'The Political Geography of France'. which includes McPhee's eloquent plea for a new historiographical approach to rural society. All historians, and anyone interested in the development of French political life,would benefit from reading this chpater alone. The Politics of Rural Life seems set to become a standard work on this complex topic.'KSharif Gemie, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Modern and Contemporary France, 1993
"McPhee argues in a brisk and passionate narrative that whole sections of the French peasantry supported a kind of democratic socialism, which they sought to secure through insurrection in 1851"--Choice "McPhee writes with energy and passion."--American Historical Review "McPhee's important study demands that historians both reexamine some of their theoretical assumptions and ask new questions of their archival sources."--Journal of Modern History
"McPhee argues in a brisk and passionate narrative that whole sections of the French peasantry supported a kind of democratic socialism, which they sought to secure through insurrection in 1851"-- Choice "McPhee writes with energy and passion."-- American Historical Review "McPhee's important study demands that historians both reexamine some of their theoretical assumptions and ask new questions of their archival sources."-- Journal of Modern History
'McPhee goes over some old ground, as well as some more recently added territory, but in a fresh and provocative way which offers new insights. ... McPhee has presented a convincing synthesis. ... fine book.'John M. Merriman, French History
' McPhee's work is a welcome addition to the studies that are demonstrating the complexity of peasant responses to the modern world.'Liana Vardi, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, Oct '93
'Peter McPhee's new book is both an admirable synthesis of recent work on the French Second Republic and an effort of his own to explain why peasants made the political choices they did... McPhee's command of the literature is impressive as is his ability to shape it into a framework ofnarrative and analysis that does justice to the complexity of the issues at hand. McPhee makes a provocative case for the relative autonomy of rural politics and for the need to view that politics on its own terms.Edward Berenson, Journal of Historical Geography, No. 20, Vol. 1, 1994
'This is indeed an important and stimulating book, which deserves a place on the shelves of all interested scholars.'Malcolm Crook, The Agricultural History Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1993
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
Peter McPhee has written the first full scholarly study of rural politics in France during the Second Republic (1848-1852). The Revolution of 1848 and the subsequent regime changed the face of mass politics in France; unprecedented numbers of French men and women participated in legal and illegal forms of political activity during a period of protracted crisis ultimately resolved by a military coup d'état. In exploring the neglected history of rural France in this period, the book draws on hundreds of regional studies to examine the large-scale political mobilizations of right and left in the countryside, and offers a new synthesis and interpretation of these years. Dr McPhee shows that rural politics were both more complex and more threatening to urban élites than has been generally recognized, and provides a lucid and scholarly analysis of a turbulent period in modern French history and its long-term social and political consequences.
Long Description
The first full scholarly study of rural politics in France during the Second Republic (1848-1852), this book examines the Revolution of 1848 and the subsequent regime that changed the face of mass politics in France. Unprecedented numbers of French men and women participated in legal and illegal forms of political activity during a period of protracted crisis which was ultimately resolved by a military coup d'etat. McPhee explores this neglected period of rural France and draws on hundreds of regional studies to examine the large-scale political mobilizations of right and left in the countryside, and offers a new synthesis and interpretation of these years. A lucid and scholarly analysis of a turbulent period in modern French history and its long-term social and political consequences, this book shows that rural politics were both more complex and more threatening to urban elites than has been generally recognized.
Main Description
Peter McPhee has written the first full scholarly study of rural politics in France during the Second Republic (1848-1852). The Revolution of 1848 and the subsequent regime changed the face of mass politics in France; unprecedented numbers of French men and women participated in legal andillegal forms of political activity during a period of protracted crisis ultimately resolved by a military coup d'etat. In exploring the neglected history of rural France in this period, the book draws on hundreds of regional studies to examine the large-scale political mobilizations of right and left in the countryside, and offers a new synthesis and interpretation of these years. Dr McPhee shows that ruralpolitics were both more complex and more threatening to urban elites than has been generally recognized, and provides a lucid and scholarly analysis of a turbulent period in modern French history and its long-term social and political consequences.
Table of Contents
List Of Mapsp. viii
Abbreviationsp. ix
Introduction: The Social History of Politicsp. 1
Rural France in the 1840sp. 15
The Crisis of the July Monarchy: 1846-1848p. 56
The Liberation of Political Life: February-June 1848p. 75
The Polarization of Rural France: June 1848-May 1849p. 106
The Political Geography of France under the Second Republicp. 138
The Battle for the Countryside: May 1849-May 1850p. 171
An Undeclared Civil War: May 1850-December 1851p. 199
Rural Revolt and State Terrorp. 227
Conclusion: The Second Republic in Rural Perspectivep. 260
Bibliographyp. 277
Indexp. 298
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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