This essay provides an introduction to the articles by Laird Boswell, Stéphane Gerson, and Gilles Pécout in this forum, which is based on a one-day conference held at UCLA in December 2006, several months before the death of Eugen Weber. It gives a brief biographical sketch of Weber's life, the central themes of his scholarly work, and assesses his contribution as an historian to the field of French and modern European history.
Searching for Popular Culture in the French Countryside
This article revisits the role that the concept of popular culture has played in Eugen Weber's Peasants Into Frenchmen and in the historiography of France. It delineates the contours of this field of study in the 1970s then traces its evolution, focusing on the nineteenth century. It also assesses Weber's contribution to this body of scholarship and considers future directions of research—and how his book may still prove helpful. The article proposes that, in terms of conceptualization, epistemological stance, and rhetorical voice, Peasants Into Frenchmen adopts two perspectives on popular culture, perspectives that are sometimes compatible but typically at odds. The first revolves around the confident discovery of a fixed traditional civilization in the French countryside; the second is a more conjectural search for fluctuating cultural processes. While commentators have focused on the first, the second foreshadowed later developments in the field and has more to offer us today.
Eugen Weber's Peasants into Frenchmen has had an enduring impact on historians of European nationalism. This article situates Weber's influence on the field of nationalism and focuses on regions that played a crucial role in his analysis: peripheries. Peripheries are central to historians studying the construction of the French nation and the forging of contemporary European identity. Scholars have moved beyond Weber by developing a dynamic model of the relationship between center and periphery, and they have paid close attention to the relationship between regional and national identities. While the field of nationalism has evolved substantially since Weber's time, the questions he posed over thirty years ago still lie at the center of scholarly concerns.
Lectures franco-méditerranéennes d'Eugen Weber
This article explores the role of the state as a vector of political acculturation in the French and Euro-Mediterranean countryside in the nineteenth century. It begins with a consideration of the importance of the reciprocal images of peasants and elites. It goes on to discuss how the terms "modernization" and "modernity" have been called into question, largely on account of how historians have deployed arguments originating in the disciplines of economics and anthropology. Finally, it examines how the debate about the role of the state in rural politicization, based on readings of Eugen Weber's classic book, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France (1870-1914), goes beyond the simple question of the efficiency of the administration and opens up a wider inquiry into the virtual integration of people into the state and the role of rural elites in mediating between the local and the national.
Gustave Hervé and the Great War
Michael B. Loughlin
: University of Wisconsin Press, 1980). 23 Eugen Weber, Varieties of Fascism: Doctrines of Revolution in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand, 1964). 24 Hervé’s pseudonym during the heyday of Hervéism. 25 Alexandre Zévaès and Jacques Prolo
transformait, évidemment, l’Ouest de la France en réplique du modèle suisse. Ajoutons que les régions françaises qui désertaient le plus étaient aussi celles qui refusaient de payer des impôts. Voir Eugen Weber, Peasants Into Frenchmen : The Modernization of
Misplacing the Dilemmas of the European Union--In Memory of Stanley Hoffmann
Charles S. Maier
increasingly stressed the “constructed” and sometimes even artificial nature of the nation-state project. Eugen Weber notably demonstrated that the collections of provinces and local communities in the South of France were hardly national before the Third
Public Education and Settler Identity in the Early Third Republic
, 160. 82 Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1977). 83 Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 27. 84 Quoted from Alice Conklin in