La Vie en bleu: France and the French since 1900
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La Vie En Bleu France and the French Since 1900 by Kedward Rod
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La Vie en bleu: France and the French since | French Studies | Oxford Academic
Continue shopping. Title: la vie en bleu france and the french since United Kingdom. In his evocatively and ironically titled book, Kedward's stated objective is to disentangle the overlapping or competing narratives that illustrate the vitality of France and convey the way the past reverberates through the present. The three principal themes of Republic, Ideology and Identity constitute the poles that mark the different phases of France's evolution since , and around these poles he weaves an absorbing study of French society that slips smoothly through a multiplicity of issues due to what he himself describes as the very flexible way in which 'culture' is interpreted.
Kedward starts his journey by alluding to the tension at the heart of the French polity: the desire to preserve plurality by asserting the unitary character of the Republic. By the end of his journey, he has made a persuasive case in favour of the idea that it is the resilience of a unitary state within a multiform and multi-layered society that constitutes the singularity of France since There are times when the state gets it wrong, but many times when the state has proved itself right in pursuing secular humanist principles and the defence of values that have protected diversity and difference.
But he is certainly right, however, to assert that the kaleidoscope has been shaken and that there is an acceptance that patterns of national self-recognition are shifting and must continue to do so. An ironic illustration of this fact is found in the government formed under the president characterised as 'facho' by the left, Nicolas Sarkozy, who pursued a course of gender parity at cabinet level with conspicuously more success than the 'gauche plurielle' government of Lionel Jospin.
Inevitably, in surveys that display such breadth of ambition, informed readers can think of works that should have been included in the bibliography. It is surprising, for example, that among the recommended cultural and intellectual histories there should be a text on French rugby but not one on cycling, which Kedward considers one of the most potent images shaping the perception of modern France.
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On the whole, however, there is plenty to guide the general reader wishing to deepen his or her knowledge of a particular aspect of modern France, and a great deal to admire by those with a specialist knowledge who are capable of recognizing the marvellous fruit of what is clearly a life-long passion for France. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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