Years of Plenty, Years of Want
France and the Legacy of the Great War
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Northern Illinois University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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When asked for advice about writing, my friend Courtlandt Dixon Barnes Bryan cited the famous injunction from J. D. Salinger’s novella Seymour: An Introduction: ask yourself what story you most want to read and then dare to write it. In my case, the story has been the one that preoccupies me the most. ...
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Summer 1914: at the end of June in Sarajevo, Bosnia, a Serbian-trained assassin shot dead the heir to the imperial throne of Austria-Hungary; at the beginning of August, the chanceries of the Great Powers exchanged declarations of war. Hell gaped open. The Great War, much predicted and much delayed, stalked forth. ...
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Georges Clemenceau was unrepentant. “Yes, they told me to shut up, but damn it all! To hell with the Chamber, to hell with the majority if they failed to understand. . . . Nothing in the world could have stopped me.” Two days earlier, on 20 July 1909, the words he could not resist uttering took him from premier to political oblivion. ...
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During the first eight decades or so following the chaos and innovation of the 1789 Revolution, the French bourgeoisie fashioned a world of order and stability. From Liberté, they generated “classical liberalism,” laissez-faire economics, and individual freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion. ...
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The Great War laid waste to France. Broad measures stagger: the dead, 1.3 million; the severely wounded, 1.1 million; the damage to the region of the Western Front, 88.7 billion francs ($151 billion in 2011); the debt incurred prosecuting the battle, 177 billion francs ($301 billion in 2011); ...
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In the early morning hours of 7 February 1934, Edouard Daladier capitulated. He was prime minister of France, but a single night of violence broke his nerve and left him unwilling to remain in office. The critical hours began the previous afternoon when he faced a Chamber of Deputies in pandemonium. ...
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In 1969, thirty years later, William L. Shirer described Paris during that last summer before World War II in The Collapse of the Third Republic. The 1789 Revolution and the storming of the Bastille were celebrating their sesquicentennial. Dressed by Schiaparelli, Maggy Rouff, Lanvin, and Robert Piguet, the women of high society were crazy for dancing, ...
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Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 15 halftones
Publication Year: 2013