Why France?: American Historians Reflect on an Enduring Fascination

Pirmais vāks
Director of Studies Centre de Recherches Historiques Laura Lee Downs, Laura Lee Downs, Stéphane Gerson
Cornell University Press, 2007 - 242 lappuses

France has long attracted the attention of many of America's most accomplished historians. The field of French history has been vastly influential in American thought, both within the academy and beyond, regardless of France's standing among U.S. political and cultural elites. Even though other countries, from Britain to China, may have had a greater impact on American history, none has exerted quite the same hold on the American historical imagination, particularly in the post-1945 era.

To gain a fresh perspective on this passionate relationship, Laura Lee Downs and Stéphane Gerson commissioned a diverse array of historians to write autobiographical essays in which they explore their intellectual, political, and personal engagements with France and its past. In addition to the essays, Why France? includes a lengthy introduction by the editors and an afterword by one of France's most distinguished historians, Roger Chartier. Taken together, these essays provide a rich and thought-provoking portrait of France, the Franco-American relationship, and a half-century of American intellectual life, viewed through the lens of the best scholarship on France.

Contributors: Ken Alder, Northwestern University; John W. Baldwin, The Johns Hopkins University; Edward Berenson, New York University; Herrick Chapman, New York University; Roger Chartier, Ècole des Hautes Ètudes en Sciences Sociales; Clare Haru Crowston, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Barbara Diefendorf, Boston University; Laura Lee Downs, Ècole des Hautes Ètudes en Sciences Sociales; Stéphane Gerson, New York University; Jan Goldstein, The University of Chicago; Lynn Hunt, UCLA; Steven Kaplan, Cornell University; Thomas Kselman, Notre Dame University; Herman Lebovics, SUNY Stony Brook; Robert Paxton, Columbia University; Todd Shepard, The Johns Hopkins University; Leonard V. Smith, Oberlin College; Gabrielle Spiegel, The Johns Hopkins University; Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley

 

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Saturs

Introduction
1
Medievalist and Francophile Despite Himself
21
A MidAtlantic Identity
35
A Midwesterner Goes to Paris
61
France for Belgium
89
Catholic Connections Jewish Relations French Religion
111
Europe without Personal Angst
123
France a Political Romance
137
Choosing History Discovering France
151
Writing at the Margins
177
From Suburban Canada to Paris
203
Notes
233
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Par autoru (2007)

Laura Lee Downs is Professor of History at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of Manufacturing Inequality: Gender Divisions in the French and British Metalworking Industries (also from Cornell), Childhood in the Promised Land: Working Class Movements and the Colonies de Vacances in France, and Writing Gender History. Stéphane Gerson is Associate Professor of French and French Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Pride of Place: Local Memories and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century France, also from Cornell. Roger Chartier is a member of the Collége de France, Professor of History at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the author of many books, including The Order of Books and Cultural History: Between Practices and Representations.

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