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Biography 29.2 (2006) 386-419
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Contributing editors Nell Altizer, Michael Fassiotto, Théo Garneau, Douglas Hilt, Noel Kent, Gabriel Merle, Dawn Morais, Forrest R. Pitts, George Simson, and Valeria Wenderoth provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include The Economist, L'Espresso, Far Eastern Economic Review, French Review, French Studies, Le Monde des Livres, New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Le Nouvel Observateur, Science, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), and the Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP).
Part one deals with Agulhon's personal and professional itinerary. How a Provençal, ruralist, and expert in analyses of social specificities became a specialist of the Second Republic, then of the XXth century, and finally of the history of symbolics, to the point of seeing his name indissolubly associated with the image of Marianne. Part two is clearly political. Agulhon was a member of the Communist party from 1946 to 1960. No nostalgia in his narrative: he just wants to explain and clarify the notion of "communist culture." Clear exposition of complex facts, precision, detachment (never cold), an alert intelligence on the watch: Professor Agulhon, who recently left his chair in the Collège de France, gives us another stimulating lesson in history.
Laurent Douzou. Le Monde des Livres, Jan. 20, 2006: 9
"While 'Anna of All the Russias' provides a thorough account of Akhmatova's day-to-day movements and her complicated marriages and affairs, it frequently loses sight of her essence, and of the broader historical and cultural context that informed her work."
Olga Grushin. NYTBR, Mar. 19, 2006: 20
Born and married in a middle-class milieu, qualifying as a nurse, fleeing from mother and husband, feminist, founder of the avant-gardist review Le Problème Sexuel (at the early date of 1933), travelling in the world's hot spots, [End Page 386] social worker in a factory, Berty Albrecht was with Henry Frenay at the roots of the underground network Combat. And a fighter she was indeed. Arrested, she escaped; caught again, she hanged herself. She was awarded the Liberation Cross (posthumously). After two biographies by her daughter Mireille (Berty, Éd. Robert Laffont  and Vivre au lieu d'exister, Éd. du Rocher ), Dominique Missika tries in her turn to understand the itinerary of that exceptional woman.
Laurent Douzou. Le Monde des Livres, Dec. 16, 2005: 9
Ali, Muhammad. See Cosell, Howard.
Bernal, J. D.
"In his biography, Andrew Brown convincingly puts together a vindication of Bernal's own account (of the controversy over Operation Overlord), that he not only prepared briefings, beach tests and charts in connection with it, but that he even landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day+2 to assess the effectiveness of allied bombing." Brown's book is harshly critical of Bernal's rival in science, the physicist Solly Zuckerman.
Christopher Coker. TLS, Feb. 10, 2006: 12
"The book has some tasty nuggets, including a clear declaration that Blair found the straight-arrow Bush easier to work with than the politified adviser—he thought Cheney 'rather sinister'—but it does not supply a satisfying answer to the big question: Why did Blair gamble everything for Bush and this war?"
Jonathan Freedland. NYTBR, Feb. 12, 2006: 14
Here are republished a number of rich texts by the author of L'étrange défaite, who has become a tutelary figure for his peer historians. The editors have judiciously...