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Book Reviews analysis of the trial confronting Blaise Diagne and René Maran in 1924, the contextual implications of which (further explored in Gary Wilder's piece on Panafricanism) are expertly presented. But no set of essays on this subject could give full coverage, and several here will remain important points of reference for future scholarship. Among the most innovative and rewarding are those that bring the specifics of sister disciplines to bear on history: military medicine illuminates the study by Richard Fogarty and Michael A. Osborne, and the architecture of the 1889 Paris Exhibition that of Lynn E. Palermo. Both give sharp focus to aspects of racism, its strong and continuing cultural strand in the former and, in the latter, the paradox of "Republican imperialism" (a phrase that strikes home). The paradox of Enlightenment thinking (and much beyond) is also highlighted in Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall's analysis of abbé Grégoire, for whom the abolition of prejudice meant the acceptance of French Catholic Republican values. The late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries properly warrant special attention. Claude Blanckaert presents the debate over poly- and monogenism, in which all parties favored a hierarchy of "races" and fitted facts to their prejudices; John Garrigus sees the anonymous novel La Mulâtre comme il y a peu de blanches as a "failed foundational fiction" to provide an overview of Haiti's racial complexities; and Laurent Dubois chooses Guadeloupe to focus on the shifting taxonomy of color. The twentieth century attracts two essays on visual representations of Blacks, one on popular stereotypes used in trademarks, the other on the modern use of archetypal American jazz-age models in freestanding Parisian shop-front publicity. The latter does not mention the Second Empire tradition of such figures, cheaper than their live forerunners as ornaments in (would-be) aristocratic houses. Yaël Simpson Fletcher contributes a many-angled study on Marseille dockworkers and Tyler Stovall another on the Paris suburbs; The one piece devoted to Algeria (though Fanon earns a chapter) focuses on interwar novelists Elissa Rhaïs and Lucienne Favre and the Muslim/Jewish/Christian triad without teasing out the racial tensions involved, even making Arab synonymous with Muslim. As is pointed out elsewhere, racism is more complex than Manichean, something not always recognized. The dangers of oversimplification are implicitly acknowledged throughout, but those of paternalism, even of liberalism, are not directly addressed. This is perhaps because the editors, whose previous outstanding work in this area is well known, seem to shy away from imposing a program on the volume, preferring to allow contributors to determine its balance, just as they do not provide a working definition of racism. The widely accepted one proposed by Albert Memmi in Le Racisme: description, définitions, traitement (Paris, 1982) is nowhere mentioned. Nor, surprisingly , are Christian Delacampagne's Une histoire du racisme: des origines à nos jours (Paris, 2000) or Daniel Sibony's Le «Racisme», une haine identitaire (Paris, 1997). A general bibliography would have remedied such a deficiency. And reservations must be expressed about the copyediting , not in general but wherever French occurs: it is wholly unreliable, as is, more occasionally , translation from French. Occasional confusion, errors of fact and infelicity of expression mar some essays. An otherwise good index excludes most references in notes. Despite such reservations , however, this volume has much, as Fred Constant writes in his Foreword, to offer "anyone interested in French studies and in contemporary dilemmas surrounding issues of equality, cultural diversity, and the practice of citizenship." Roger Little Trinity College Dublin Jeffrey H. Jackson. Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003. Pp. xi + 266. $21.95 paper. World War I exacted a huge toll on French society and generated profound cultural unease; the fluid interwar years were no less tumultuous, as the dead were mourned and the living celebrated life. It was into this mix that came the jarring and exhilarating syncopated beat of modern Vol. XLIV, No. 2 101 L'Esprit Créateur life: jazz music. Despite its ambivalent, frequently contentious reception, jazz was ultimately assimilated into French culture. This cultural process, Jeffrey H. Jackson cogently argues, is really a story about how...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 101-102
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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