Catalogue

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Paris and the spirit of 1919 : consumer struggles, transnationalism, and revolution /
Tyler Stovall.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
description
xii, 342 p.
ISBN
1107018013 (hardback), 9781107018013 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
isbn
1107018013 (hardback)
9781107018013 (hardback)
contents note
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: a year like no other; 1. The consumers' war; 2. The workers of Paris; 3. Remaking the French working class; 4. Spectacular politics; 5. Consumer movements; 6. Time, money, and revolution: the metalworkers' strike of June, 1919; Conclusion: legacies.
abstract
"This transnational history of Paris in 1919 explores the global implications of the revolutionary crisis of French society at the end of World War I. As the site of the Peace Conference Paris was a victorious capital and a city at the centre of the world, and Tyler Stovall explores these intersections of globalisation and local revolution. The book takes as its central point the eruption of political activism in 1919, using the events of that year to illustrate broader tensions in working class, race and gender politics in Parisian, French, and ultimately global society which fuelled debates about colonial subjects and the empire. Viewing consumerism and consumer politics as key both to the revolutionary crisis and to new ideas about working class identity, and arguing against the idea that consumerism depoliticised working people, this history of local labor movements is a study in the making of the modern world"--
catalogue key
8378252
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-12-01:
Stovall's study of proletarian Paris in 1919 begins with a fascinating grassroots microhistory of Paris during WWI, which demonstrates that official rhetoric about the union sacree of the French nation in arms was belied by persistent conflict over food, housing, and wages. Stovall (Berkeley) argues that the demands of total war forced French leaders to intervene more actively in the economy, freezing rents and regulating food prices. When these controls were lifted after the armistice, inflation, rising rents, scarce housing, and the inability of wages to keep up with prices roused working-class Paris to action. Rejecting the dichotomy drawn by some historians between production and (supposedly apolitical) consumerism and citing E.P. Thompson on the "moral economy of the crowd," Stovall contends that consumer issues provided a powerful rallying point, uniting the poor across lines of gender, nationality, and profession. The author argues that tenants' collective action against eviction, popular vigilance committees against price gouging, and wildcat worker strikes combining utopian and pragmatic concerns represent a new type of postmodern politics, the echoes of which he sees in the May 1968 movement and in contemporary anti-globalization protests. Original and thought provoking. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Harvey New College of Florida
Reviews
Review Quotes
Advance praise: 'Paris and the Spirit of 1919 is a major new synthesis of the fundamental changes shaping working-class politics and identity in the interwar years. Tyler Stovall persuasively argues for 1919 as a focal point for key transformations in French society and politics during the twentieth century. By insisting on the political significance of working class consumption, Stovall's study brings together the histories of labor and consumerism in a highly original way. Written with verve and exceptional clarity, this long-awaited book both foregrounds and revitalizes class as a category of historical analysis. [This book] should be required reading for all labor and social historians as well as scholars of modern Europe.' Mary Louise Roberts, University of Wisconsin
"By means of an empirically-rich, intensive study of a single year, Paris and the Spirit of 1919 makes a fundamental contribution to our understanding of both the French state and the transformation of the working class in the 20th century. Tyler Stovall succeeds admirably in bringing together the histories of consumerism and labor, drawing on and incisively contributing to both historiographies. The book is a pleasure to read; it is elegantly-written, beautifully-argued, and well- documented." -Leora Auslander, University of Chicago
'By means of an empirically rich, intensive study of a single year, Paris and the Spirit of 1919 makes a fundamental contribution to our understanding of both the French state and the transformation of the working class in the twentieth century. Tyler Stovall succeeds admirably in bringing together the histories of consumerism and labor, drawing on and incisively contributing to both historiographies. The book is a pleasure to read; it is elegantly written, beautifully argued, and well-documented.' Leora Auslander, University of Chicago
"Paris and the Spirit of 1919 is a major new synthesis of the fundamental changes shaping working-class politics and identity in the interwar years. Tyler Stovall persuasively argues for 1919 as a focal point for key transformations in French society and politics during the twentieth century. By insisting on the political significance of working class consumption, Stovall's study brings together the histories of labor and consumerism in a highly original way. Written with verve and exceptional clarity, this long-awaited book both foregrounds and revitalizes class as a category of historical analysis. Paris and the Spirit of 1919 should be required reading for all labor and social historians as well as scholars of Modern Europe." -Mary Louise Roberts, University of Wisconsin
"Shifting the focus of postwar France from 1920 - the birth of the Communist Party, the beginning of Moscow's lasting graft on French politics - to 1919 is no small feat. The capital of modern culture also appears as a crossroads between colonial and migrant families looking for an insertion into the metropolis, consumers and renters taking the home and the market as reasons for collective action, and strikers trying to change the international and national world of work. Both exclusions and social movements are powerful sources of the recasting of urban France, not only elites and avant-gardes." -Patrick Fridenson, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
'Stovall does well in saying that we should not focus on why there was no revolution in 1919, but on what actually took place.' French History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2012
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This transnational history of Paris in 1919 explores the global implications of the revolutionary crisis of French society at the end of World War I, using the events of 1919 to illustrate broader tensions in working class, race and gender politics in Parisian, French and ultimately global society.
Main Description
This transnational history of Paris in 1919 explores the global implications of the revolutionary crisis of French society at the end of World War I. As the site of the peace conference Paris was a victorious capital and a city at the center of the world, and Tyler Stovall explores these intersections of globalization and local revolution. The book takes as its central point the eruption of political activism in 1919, using the events of that year to illustrate broader tensions in working class, race, and gender politics in Parisian, French, and ultimately global society which fueled debates about colonial subjects and the empire. Viewing consumerism and consumer politics as key both to the revolutionary crisis and to new ideas about working class identity, and arguing against the idea that consumerism depoliticized working people, this history of local labor movements is a study in the making of the modern world.
Main Description
This transnational history of Paris in 1919 explores the global implications of the revolutionary crisis of French society at the end of World War I. As the site of the Peace Conference, Paris was a victorious capital and a city at the centre of the world, and Tyler Stovall explores these intersections of globalisation and local revolution. The book takes as its central point the eruption of political activism in 1919, using the events of that year to illustrate broader tensions in working class, race and gender politics in Parisian, French and ultimately global society which fuelled debates about colonial subjects and the empire. Viewing consumerism and consumer politics as key both to the revolutionary crisis and to new ideas about working class identity, and arguing against the idea that consumerism depoliticised working people, this history of local labor movements is a study in the making of the modern world.
Table of Contents
Introduction: a year like no other
The consumers' war
The working class of Paris: definitions and identities
Remaking the French working class: race, gender and exclusion
Spectacular politics
Consumer movements
Time, money, and revolution: the metalworkers' strike of June, 1919
Conclusion: legacies
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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