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Murder in the métro : Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule in 1930s France /
Gayle K. Brunelle and Annette Finley-Croswhite.
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010.
xvii, 266 p.
0807136166 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807136164 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010.
0807136166 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807136164 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Murder in the métro -- Le crime du metro : a perfect crime -- Police and press on the trail of an assassin -- Gentle lamb or wicked sheep? : embodying Laetitia Toureaux -- Provocations and assassinations in 1937 -- Enter the Cagoule : terrorists of the extreme right -- Planning the apocalypse : arms trafficking in 1930s France -- Exposure and dispersion of the Cagoule, november 1937-1948 -- A scenario for a murder -- Conclusion: Who's afraid of Laetitia Toureaux? -- Appendix: The Cagoule in historiography.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-10-01:
Brunelle (California State Univ. at Fullerton) and Finley-Croswhite (Old Dominion Univ.) have uncovered new information about the 1937 murder of a beautiful and mysterious Italian spy, adding to the historical scholarship on sensational crimes involving women that highlight larger political issues (e.g., Edward Berenson's The Trial of Madame Caillaux, CH, Sep'92, 30-045). The authors, like Mary Louise Roberts in Disruptive Acts: The New Woman in Fin-de-Siecle France (CH, Jun'03, 40-6117), question traditional accounts of the "new woman" of interwar Europe: Toureaux was independent, ambitious, thrill seeking, and sexual. She was also a pro-fascist spy for the right-wing French terrorist group CSAR (the "Cagoule"), delivering information to their Italian Fascist allies and to the French police. Using sealed archival and trial documents and contemporary accounts of the affair, Brunelle and Finly-Crowhite argue compellingly that the murder, its unsolved status, and the lack of scholarly attention to the subject cast doubt on French post-WW II accounts of interwar French and Italian politics. By investigating Toureaux's life and the threat of the Cagoule to the French state, the authors point to a new avenue of scholarship, where gender, espionage, politics, and history intermingle in as yet unexplored ways. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Blessing Ohio University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2010-03-08:
On May 16, 1937, Laetitia Toureaux, a 29-year-old Italian-born factory worker, was murdered in an otherwise empty first-class compartment on a Paris metro train. The case has never been solved, and the case files were ordered sealed for 101 years. In this fascinating book, historians Brunelle (California State, Fullerton) and Finley-Croswhite (Old Dominion) reveal that Toureaux was no mere factory worker. Ambitious but naive, she was involved, both personally and politically, with a secret, extremist fascist group known as the Cagoule; she also worked for a detective agency and was an informer for both the French police and the Italian secret service. The authors look at the bitterly fractious world of 1930s French politics and explore in depth both Toureaux's enigmatic life and the press's portrayal of her as a loose woman and "social climber." The authors also delve into the violent history of the Cagoule, which broke away from the better-known Action Francaise. Finally, they provide a "speculative" but "strong plausible case" for who murdered Toureaux and why. Brunelle and Finley-Croswhite have produced an exceptionally fine work that is well-researched and documented and consistently compelling. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 2010
Choice, October 2010
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xvii
Introduction: Murder in the Métrop. 1
Laetitia Toureaux
Le Crime du Métro: A Perfect Crimep. 23
Police and Press on the Trail of an Assassinp. 33
Gende Lamb or Wicked Sheep? Embodying Laetitia Toureauxp. 56
The Cagoule
Provocations and Assassinations in 1937p. 79
Enter the Cagoule: Terrorists of the Extreme Rightp. 99
Planning the Apocalypse: Arms Trafficking in 1930s Francep. 123
Exposure and Dispersion of the Cagoule: November 1937-1948p. 143
Speculation and Memory
A Scenario for a Murderp. 173
Conclusion: Who's Afraid of Laetitia Toureaux?p. 190
Appendix: The Cagoule in Historiographyp. 201
Notesp. 211
Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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