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Scientists in Time of War

World War II, the Cold War, and Science in the United States and France

Dominique Pestre

Before addressing its central concern—the convergence of science, war, institutions, and politics in the postwar period in France and the United States—, this essay evokes how scientific knowledge had been of importance to warfare and economic elites in the preceding centuries. In the 1940s and 1950s, scientific activities were profoundly redefined. A culture of laboratory solutions, of calculus, and management won the day. For the scientists, that meant versatility and a willingness to work between disciplines and métiers and to confront the nation's main concerns. It also led to increasingly technocratic versions of politics. Due to science, the state became a managerial apparatus, a "modernizer" arbitrating among different scenarios. Contrary to what happened in the United States, science was not center stage in France in the 1940s and early 1950s. The habitus of scientists was that of the prewar period, and they were still not technique-oriented. They had a more cultural definition of their trade and were not opportunists whose aim was to become pragmatically efficient in the world of business and military action. From the mid-1950s, things started to evolve due to a strong economic recovery and because French scientists had now caught up with the latest developments. The final break, however, occurred in France only when de Gaulle abandoned the Algerian war and elected for an autonomous nuclear deterrence system. By putting la stratégie de l'arsenal at the core of national development, de Gaulle significantly transformed French science, society, industry, and the military.

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Betsy Bowman and Bob Stone

The question whether, in the interim, the "socialist morality" allows adequate restraint on revolutionary action, cannot fairly be answered in abstraction from history, in this case our epoch. We submit that the group of projects called corporate "globalization" - imposing free trade, privatization, and dominance of transnational corporations - shapes that epoch. These projects are associated with polarization of wealth, deepening poverty, and an alarming new global U.S. military domination. Using 9/11 as pretext for a "war on terror," this domination backs corporate globalization. If Nazi occupation of France and French occupation of Algeria made Sartre and Beauvoir assign moral primacy to overcoming oppressive systems, then U.S. global occupation should occasion rebirth of that commitment. Parallels among the three occupations are striking. France's turning of colonial and metropolitan working classes against each other is echoed by globalization's pitting of (e.g.) Chinese against Mexican workers in a race to lower wages to get investment. Seducing first-world workers with racial superiority and cheap imports from near-slavery producers once again conceals their thralldom to their own bosses. Nazi and French use of overwhelming force and even torture are re-cycled by the U.S. and its agents, again to hide the vulnerability of their small forces amidst their enemies.

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Ronald Aronson

By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.

The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.

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Naomi J. Andrews, Simon Jackson, Jessica Wardhaugh, Shannon Fogg, Jessica Lynne Pearson, Elizabeth Campbell, Laura Levine Frader, Joshua Cole, Elizabeth A. Foster, and Owen White

Silyane Larcher, L’Autre Citoyen: L’idéal républicain et les Antilles après l’esclavage (Paris: Armand Colin, 2014).

Elizabeth Heath, Wine, Sugar, and the Making of Modern France: Global Economic Crisis and the Racialization of French Citizenship, 1870–1910 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Rebecca Scales, Radio and the Politics of Sound in Interwar France, 1921–1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Claire Zalc, Dénaturalisés: Les retraits de nationalité sous Vichy (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2016).

Bertram M. Gordon, War Tourism: Second World War France from Defeat and Occupation to the Creation of Heritage (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018).

Shannon L. Fogg, Stealing Home: Looting, Restitution, and Reconstructing Jewish Lives in France, 1942–1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Sarah Fishman, From Vichy to the Sexual Revolution: Gender and Family Life in Postwar France (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Frederick Cooper, Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014).

Jessica Lynne Pearson, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).

Darcie Fontaine, Decolonizing Christianity: Religion and the End of Empire in France and Algeria (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

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Mark McKinney and Hervé (Baru) Barulea

Hervé Barulea (b. 1947), known as Baru, is a French cartoonist of Italian and Breton heritage, who has spent much of his life in the metalworking region around Nancy, in northeastern France, his birthplace. He outlines his approach to comics, beginning with his vision of comics as essentially being images that speak to primal human urges. He finds this kind of imagery today mainly in American movies and novels, but not so much in American comics. He describes his tenure as president of the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée ['International Festival of Comics'] in Angoulême in January 2011, after having won the grand prize for his career's work in comics at the same festival in 2010. Baru then speaks of his approach to history and current events in his comics. He outlines how he has depicted immigrants of European and African heritage in his comics, and then explains why he has often returned to the Algerian War. Baru ends this first half of the interview by describing his views of the French Communist Party, and explaining his critical depiction of it in Les années Spoutnik ['The Spoutnik Years'].

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The New Biography: Performing Femininity in Nineteenth-Century France, Jo Burr Margadant, ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). Review by Elizabeth E. Covington, University of California at Los Angeles

Raymond Jonas, France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart: An Epic for Modern Times (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000). Review by Caroline Ford, University of British Columbia

Cécile Laborde, Pluralist Thought and the State in Britain and France, 1900-25 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, St. Antony’s Series, 2000). Review by Judith F. Stone, Western Michigan University

Linda L. Clark, The Rise of Professional Women in France: Gender and Public Administration since 1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Review by Karen Offen, Stanford University

Carolyn Warner, Confessions of an Interest Group: The Catholic Church and Political Parties in Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). Review by Kimberly J. Morgan, George Washington University

Richard J. Golsan, Vichy’s Afterlife: History and Counterhistory in Postwar France (Lincoln and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 2000). Review by Henry Rousso, IHTP-CNRS

Mouloud Feraoun, Journal 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War, ed. with intro. by James D. Le Sueur, trans. Mary Ellen Wolf and Claude Fouillade (Lincoln, NE and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2000). Originally published as Journal 1955-1962 (Paris: Seuil, 1962). Review by Patricia M.E. Lorcin, Texas Tech University

Herman Lebovics, Mona Lisa’s Escort: André Malraux and the Reinvention of French Culture (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999). Review by Charles Rearick, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Bernard Lahire, L’Invention de l’ « illettrisme », rhétorique publique, éthique et stigmates (Paris : Éditions La Découverte, 1999). Review by Christian Baudelot, École normale supérieure

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Richard Ivan Jobs, Judith Surkis, Laura Lee Downs, Nimisha Barton, and Kimberly A. Arkin

reference point for scholars and students interested in French imperialism, postcolonial studies, and popular culture. Chapters two through four consider BD representations of French colonial Algeria, the Indochinese War, and the Algerian War, respectively

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-First-Century France (Vol. 33, No. 1, 101) SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE POLITICS OF EMPIRE IN POST-REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE ANDREWS, Naomi J . and SESSIONS, Jennifer E . Introduction (Vol. 33, No. 1, 1) DELNORE, Allyson Jaye . Empire by Example? Deportees in France and Algeria

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Collective Memories, 2003–2010 Since 2005, scholars and politicians have employed a framework of “memory wars” to interpret conflicts over the colonial past in France. The case of the Harkis, Algerians who fought with the French Army during the Algerian War

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Matthew Screech, Susan Slyomovics, Armelle Blin-Rolland, and Ana Merino

: Impressions Nouvelles, 2010), 245. Book Reviews Jennifer Howell , The Algerian War in French-Language Comics (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015). 222 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4985-1606-8 ($90.00) Visual, historical and literary representations of the Algerian War