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France's Long Reconstruction: In Search of the Modern Republic

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At the end of World War II, France's greatest challenge was to repair a civil society torn asunder by Nazi occupation and total war. Recovery required the nation's complete economic and social transformation. But just what form this "new France" should take remained the burning question at the heart of French political combat until the Algerian War ended, over a decade lat At the end of World War II, France's greatest challenge was to repair a civil society torn asunder by Nazi occupation and total war. Recovery required the nation's complete economic and social transformation. But just what form this "new France" should take remained the burning question at the heart of French political combat until the Algerian War ended, over a decade later. Herrick Chapman charts the course of France's long reconstruction from 1944 to 1962, offering fresh insights into the ways the expansion of state power, intended to spearhead recovery, produced fierce controversies at home and unintended consequences abroad in France's crumbling empire. Abetted after Liberation by a new elite of technocratic experts, the burgeoning French state infiltrated areas of economic and social life traditionally free from government intervention. Politicians and intellectuals wrestled with how to reconcile state-directed modernization with the need to renew democratic participation and bolster civil society after years spent under the Nazi and Vichy yokes. But rather than resolving the tension, the conflict between top-down technocrats and grassroots democrats became institutionalized as a way of framing the problems facing Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic. Uniquely among European countries, France pursued domestic recovery while simultaneously fighting full-scale colonial wars. France's Long Reconstruction shows how the Algerian War led to the further consolidation of state authority and cemented repressive immigration policies that now appear shortsighted and counterproductive.


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At the end of World War II, France's greatest challenge was to repair a civil society torn asunder by Nazi occupation and total war. Recovery required the nation's complete economic and social transformation. But just what form this "new France" should take remained the burning question at the heart of French political combat until the Algerian War ended, over a decade lat At the end of World War II, France's greatest challenge was to repair a civil society torn asunder by Nazi occupation and total war. Recovery required the nation's complete economic and social transformation. But just what form this "new France" should take remained the burning question at the heart of French political combat until the Algerian War ended, over a decade later. Herrick Chapman charts the course of France's long reconstruction from 1944 to 1962, offering fresh insights into the ways the expansion of state power, intended to spearhead recovery, produced fierce controversies at home and unintended consequences abroad in France's crumbling empire. Abetted after Liberation by a new elite of technocratic experts, the burgeoning French state infiltrated areas of economic and social life traditionally free from government intervention. Politicians and intellectuals wrestled with how to reconcile state-directed modernization with the need to renew democratic participation and bolster civil society after years spent under the Nazi and Vichy yokes. But rather than resolving the tension, the conflict between top-down technocrats and grassroots democrats became institutionalized as a way of framing the problems facing Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic. Uniquely among European countries, France pursued domestic recovery while simultaneously fighting full-scale colonial wars. France's Long Reconstruction shows how the Algerian War led to the further consolidation of state authority and cemented repressive immigration policies that now appear shortsighted and counterproductive.

32 review for France's Long Reconstruction: In Search of the Modern Republic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Numidica

    This book may be fine as a textbook for economics students studying the recovery of France after WW2, but as casual reading, I cannot recommend it. It was a gift, so I felt obligated to attempt to finish it, but either I lack the historical knowledge of French politics in the postwar years to make this compelling, or else it is truly as dry as it seemed to me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    An ode to the state controlled economy. And a god sent for Chapman, so he won't have to praise the mass killings of Stalin and Mao. An ode to the state controlled economy. And a god sent for Chapman, so he won't have to praise the mass killings of Stalin and Mao.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tony Hernandez

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gull-Catcher

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruxandra

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hogan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hester

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

  11. 4 out of 5

    Korri

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elliot

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hanson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

  15. 5 out of 5

    Filipe Pereira

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julius

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

  20. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Holste

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juraj Šahin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maximilian Mähr

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristian

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julien Devin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam Y

  31. 4 out of 5

    Chris Anderson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Climie

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