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The Legacy of the French Revolutionary Wars
The Nation-in-Arms in French Republican Memory

Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: August 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107618787

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  • A major contribution to the study of collective identity and memory in France, this book examines a French republican myth: the belief that the nation can be adequately defended only by its own citizens, in the manner of the French revolutionaries of 1793. Alan Forrest examines the image of the citizen army reflected in political speeches, school textbooks, art and literature across the nineteenth century. He reveals that the image appealed to notions of equality and social justice, and with time it expanded to incorporate Napoleon's victorious legions, the partisans who repelled the German invader in 1814 and the people of Paris who rose in arms to defend the Republic in 1870. More recently it has risked being marginalized by military technology and by the realities of colonial warfare, but its influence can still be seen in the propaganda of the Great War and of the French Resistance under Vichy.

    • An important contribution to discussions about the cultural history of war and the role of the French military
    • Presents important and extensive French scholarship to an English-speaking readership
    • Will appeal to modern European historians and to scholars of memory, identity and French history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'This fascinating and well-written book makes a valuable contribution towards our understanding of the impact of the Revolutionary Wars upon the political culture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century France.' European History Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107618787
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Creating the legend
    3. Napoleon and the blurring of memory
    4. Voices from the past
    5. The hollow years
    6. The Franco-Prussian War
    7. The army of the Third Republic
    8. Educating the army
    9. Educating the republic
    10. The First World War
    11. Last stirrings
    12. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Alan Forrest
    Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History at the University of York. His previous books include Paris, the Provinces and the French Revolution (2004), Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire (2002) and The Revolution in Provincial France: Aquitaine, 1789–1799 (1996).

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