The Past in French History
This fascinating book offers a new perspective on French history and political culture by examining how the commemoration of the past pervades French public life. The book surveys the ways that various political communities in France during the past two centuries-proponents of revolution and counterrevolution, church and state, centralism and regionalism, and national identity and nationalism-have used different versions of the past in order to define their identities and legitimate their goals. "Never before have the competing constructions of the past been examined in a single volume with such erudition and panache. . . . Gildea deals with his subject theoretically, but he intertwines his themes with dexterity and originality."-Douglas Johnson, Times Literary Supplement
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