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FRANCE IN THE WORLD: A NEW GLOBAL HISTORY

France in the World: A New Global History will be published by Gallic books and released on the 18th of August 2021, with Patrick Boucheron as the lead editor and Teresa Lavender Fagan, Jane Kuntz, Alexis Pernsteiner, Anthony Roberts, Willard Wood as the translators.



About the book (from the Preface)

France in the World is one such experiment, bold in its scope and its commitment to scholarship coupled with freedom and formal creativity. Patrick Boucheron and his four coeditors made several key decisions at the outset. They organized the book as a series of essays about 146 dates in the history of France, each one distilling the latest scholarship while avoiding jargon and footnotes. Ranging from 34,000 bce to 2015, these essays either explore turning points, such as Charlemagne’s coronation in 800 or the May 1968 civil unrest, or else delve into less momentous yet still telling events, such as the draining of a Languedoc pond in 1247. […] The editors invited dozens of historians to write these essays, and few turned them down. The members of this collective represent a multitude of historical specialties, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era, archaeology to technology, law to finance, gender to cinema. The book thus invites readers to learn about states, wars, expeditions, and peace treaties, as we would expect, but also about diseases and penal colonies, canals and promenades, fashion and perfume, museums and best sellers, swindles and engineering feats. Generals and politicians, aristocrats and bureaucrats comingle with cave dwellers and textile traders, novelists and feminists, soccer players and philosophers, vagrants and immigrants, all of them protagonists in a variegated history. […]

By neglecting key dates (say, the 1916 Battle of Verdun) and adding others that may seem inconsequential, by granting the same number of words to Coco Chanel as to Charlemagne, they are telling us that all planes of history are equally revealing, that all historical actors deserve attention. Hierarchies exist, of course, but do not expect to find one ready-made in this book. It falls upon us, as attentive readers and critical thinkers, to create meaning out of the apparent chaos of history.

France in the World is thus a political book if one understands politics not as the partisan reading of evidence or the explicit embrace of party positions, but instead as the deployment of reason against despair. The book is also political in its central question: What does it mean to belong to a nation in our globalized yet nationalistic world?

About the editor (from the Preface)

The book’s lead editor, Patrick Boucheron, is a specialist in latemedieval Italian history, a professor at the prestigious Collège de France, and the editor of, among other books, Histoire du monde au XVe siècle (History of the World in the Fifteenth Century). He also belongs to a generation of French historians who seek to recover the public role, the civic engagement of their predecessors—not as grand intellectuals who, like Jean-Paul Sartre, share their views on all issues, but rather as measured commentators who bring their expertise to bear on specific questions. In order to reach a broader readership, these historians are consulting on historical TV shows, participating in theater festivals, and writing threads about history on Twitter. They are also experimenting with graphic novels, memoirs, and other unconventional forms of historical writing.


To pre-oder the book, click here

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