France - History
August 1914: France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
August 1914
France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300208278
A haunting portrait of France at war

On August 1, 1914, war erupted into the lives of millions of families across France. Most people thought the conflict would last just a few weeks.

Yet before the month was out, twenty-seven thousand French soldiers died on the single day of August 22 alone--the worst catastrophe in French military history. Refugees streamed into France as the German army advanced, spreading rumors that amplified still more the ordeal of war. Citizens of enemy countries who were living in France were viciously scapegoated. Drawing from diaries, personal correspondence, police reports, and government archives, Bruno Cabanes renders an intimate, narrative-driven study of the first weeks of World War I in France. Told from the perspective of ordinary women and men caught in the flood of mobilization, this revealing book deepens our understanding of the traumatic impact of war on soldiers and civilians alike.

August 1914 was a finalist for a prestigious French book award, the Prix F mina for nonfiction, in 2014.
France 1815-1914:: The Bourgeois Century
France 1815-1914:
The Bourgeois Century
Paperback      ISBN: 0195205030

In this lively and stimulating study, Roger Magraw examines how the 19th-century French bourgeoisie struggled and eventually succeeded in consolidating the gains it made in 1789. The book describes the attempts of the bourgeoisie to remold France in its own image and its strategy for overcoming the resistance from the old aristocratic and clerical elites and the popular classes. Incorporating the most recent research on religion and anticlericalism, the development of the economy, the role of women in society, and the educational system, this work is the first to draw extensively on the new social history in its interpretation of events in 19th-century France.

Joan of Arc: A Life
Joan of Arc
A Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0143113976
"A master of the story form" (The New York Times) offers a fresh, revealing portrait of the legendary saint

Celebrated novelist Mary Gordon brings Joan of Arc alive as a complex figure full of contradictions and desires, as well as spiritual devotion. A humble peasant girl, Joan transformed herself into the legendary Maid of Orl ans, knight, martyr, and saint. Following the voice of God, she led an army to victory and crowned the king of France, only to be captured and burned at the stake as a heretic--all by the age of nineteen. Gordon does more than tell this gripping story--she explores Joan's mystery and the many facets of her inspiring life.
Marie Antoinette: The Journey
Marie Antoinette
The Journey
Paperback      ISBN: 0307277747

France's iconic queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous "Let them eat cake," was alternately revered and reviled during her lifetime. For centuries since, she has been the object of debate, speculation, and the fascination so often accorded illustrious figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted child was thrust onto the royal stage and commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in European history. Antonia Fraser's lavish and engaging portrait excites compassion and regard for all aspects of the queen, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, but in the culture of an unparalleled time and place.

Napoleon: A Private View: Treasures from the Bruno LeDoux Collection
Napoleon: A Private View
Treasures from the Bruno LeDoux Collection
Hardcover      ISBN: 1419721453

A timeless symbol of power and ambition, Napol on Bonaparte (1769-1821) spent decades expanding France's empire, enjoying magnificent success and suffering crushing defeats. Featuring more than 400 never-before-seen objects, Napoleon: A Private View allows a glimpse into the inner world of the French emperor. Over the course of 24 years, collector Bruno Ledoux amassed a remarkable range of manuscripts, books, gold jewelry, porcelains, miniatures, arms, and even historic souvenirs, all created in honor of Napol on and the French empire.

Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50
Left Bank
Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50
Hardcover      ISBN: 1627790241

An incandescent group portrait of the midcentury artists and thinkers whose lives, loves, collaborations, and passions were forged against the wartime destruction and postwar rebirth of Paris

In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnes Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the 20th century, from Richard Wright's Native Son, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Saul Bellow's Augie March, along with the origin stories of now legendary movements, from Existentialism to the Theatre of the Absurd, New Journalism, bebop, and French feminism.

We follow Arthur Koestler and Norman Mailer as young men, peek inside Picasso's studio, and trail the twists of Camus's Sartre's, and Beauvoir's epic love stories. We witness the births and deaths of newspapers and literary journals and peer through keyholes to see the first kisses and last nights of many ill-advised bedfellows. At every turn, Poirier deftly hones in on the most compelling and colorful history, without undermining the crucial significance of the era. She brings to life the flawed, visionary Parisians who fell in love and out of it, who infuriated and inspired one another, all while reconfiguring the world's political, intellectual, and creative landscapes. With its balance of clear-eyed historical narrative and irresistible anecdotal charm, Left Bank transports readers to a Paris teeming with passion, drama, and life.

Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
Little Demon in the City of Light
A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0385536038
A delicious account of a murder most gallic think CSI Paris meets Georges Simenon whose lurid combination of sex, brutality, forensics, and hypnotism riveted first a nation and then the world.
Little Demon in the City of Light is the thrilling and so wonderfully French story of a gruesome 1889 murder of a lascivious court official at the hands of a ruthless con man andhis pliant mistress and theinternational manhunt, sensational trial, and an inquiry into the limits of hypnotic power that ensued.
In France at the end of the nineteenth century a great debate raged over the question of whether someone could be hypnotically compelled to commit a crime in violation of his or her moral convictions. When Toussaint-Augustin Gouffe entered 3, rue Tronson du Coudray, he expected nothing but a delightful assignation with the comely young Gabrielle Bompard. Instead, he wasmurdered hanged by her and her companion Michel Eyraud. The body was then stuffed in a trunk and dumped on a riverbank near Lyon.
As the inquiry into the guilt or innocence of the woman the French tabloids dubbed the "Little Demon" escalated, the most respected minds in France debated whether Gabrielle Bompard was the pawn of her mesmerizing lover or simply a coldly calculating murderess. And, at the burning center of it all: Could hypnosis force people to commit crimes against their will?"
A Great and Glorious Adventure: A History of the Hundred Years War and the Birth of Renaissance England
A Great and Glorious Adventure
A History of the Hundred Years War and the Birth of Renaissance England
Paperback      ISBN: 1605988421

In this captivating new history of a conflict that raged for over a century, Gordon Corrigan reveals the horrors of battle and the machinations of power that have shaped a millennium of Anglo-French relations.

The Hundred Years War was fought between 1337 and 1453 over English claims to both the throne of France by right of inheritance and large parts of the country that had been at one time Norman or, later, English. The fighting ebbed and flowed, but despite their superior tactics and great victories at Cr cy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, the English could never hope to secure their claims in perpetuity: France was wealthier and far more populous, and while the English won the battles, they could not hope to hold forever the lands they conquered.

Military historian Gordon Corrigan's gripping narrative of these epochal events is combative and refreshingly alive, and the great battles and personalities of the period - Edward III, The Black Prince, Henry V, and Joan of Arc among them - receive the full attention and reassessment they deserve.
Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris
Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944
Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0199970866
Winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize for Nonfiction

Jean Gu�henno's Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1945 is the most oft-quoted piece of testimony on life in occupied France. A sharply observed record of day-to-day life under Nazi rule in Paris and a bitter commentary on literary life in those years, it has also been called "a remarkable essay on courage and cowardice" (Caroline Moorehead, Wall Street Journal). Here, David Ball provides not only the first English-translation of this important historical document, but also the first ever annotated, corrected edition.

Gu�henno was a well-known political and cultural critic, left-wing but not communist, and uncompromisingly anti-fascist. Unlike most French writers during the Occupation, he refused to pen a word for a publishing industry under Nazi control. He expressed his intellectual, moral, and emotional resistance in this diary: his shame at the Vichy government's collaboration with Nazi Germany, his contempt for its falsely patriotic reactionary ideology, his outrage at its anti-Semitism and its vilification of the Republic it had abolished, his horror at its increasingly savage repression and his disgust with his fellow intellectuals who kept on blithely writing about art and culture as if the Occupation did not exist - not to mention those who praised their new masters in prose and poetry. Also a teacher of French literature, he constantly observed the young people he taught, sometimes saddened by their conformism but always passionately trying to inspire them with the values of the French cultural tradition he loved. Gu�henno's diary often includes his own reflections on the great texts he is teaching, instilling them with special meaning in the context of the Occupation. Complete with meticulous notes and a biographical index, Ball's edition of Gu�henno's epic diary offers readers a deeper understanding not only of the diarist's cultural allusions, but also of the dramatic, historic events through which he lived.
And the Show Went on: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
And the Show Went on
Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0307268977

On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into a silent and deserted Paris. Eight days later, a humbled France accepted defeat along with foreign occupation. The only consolation was that, while the swastika now flew over Paris, the City of Light was undamaged. Soon, a peculiar kind of normality returned as theaters, opera houses, movie theaters and nightclubs reopened for business. This suited both conquerors and vanquished: the Germans wanted Parisians to be distracted, while the French could show that, culturally at least, they had not been defeated. Over the next four years, the artistic life of Paris flourished with as much verve as in peacetime. Only a handful of writers and intellectuals asked if this was an appropriate response to the horrors of a world war.
Alan Riding introduces us to a panoply of writers, painters, composers, actors and dancers who kept working throughout the occupation. Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf sang before French and German audiences. Pablo Picasso, whose art was officially banned, continued to paint in his Left Bank apartment. More than two hundred new French films were made, including Marcel Carne's classic, "Les Enfants du paradis." Thousands of books were published by authors as different as the virulent anti-Semite Celine and the anti-Nazis Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. Meanwhile, as Jewish performers and creators were being forced to flee or, as was Irene Nemirovsky, deported to death camps, a small number of artists and intellectuals joined the resistance.
Throughout this penetrating and unsettling account, Riding keeps alive the quandaries facing many of these artists. Were they "saving" French culture by working? Were they betraying France if they performed before German soldiers or made movies with Nazi approval? Was it the intellectual's duty to take up arms against the occupier? Then, after Paris was liberated, what was deserving punishment for artists who had committed "intelligence with the enemy"?
By throwing light on this critical moment of twentieth-century European cultural history, "And the Show Went On" focuses anew on whether artists and writers have a special duty to show moral leadership in moments of national trauma.