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Eugen Weber
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Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
France achieved national unity much later than is commonly supposed. For a hundred years and more after the Revolution, millions of peasants lived on as if in a timeless world, their existence little different from that of the generations before them.

The author of this lively, often witty, and always provocative work traces how France underwent a veritable crisis of civili
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Hardcover, 615 pages
Published by Chatto and Windus (first published June 1st 1976)
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Randy Mcdonald
People tend to forget how heterogeneous--ethnically, culturally, and otherwise--modern states used to be. Canadians are probably less likely to forget than citizens of other Western states, simply because their country is prone to innumerable fissures--Québec versus English Canada, West versus East, South versus North, even downtown versus suburbs, heartland versus periphery--but other countries evidence much the same fissures. Sweden, for instance, is traditionally thought of as the epitome of ...more
Sarah
I was in way over my head when I had to read this for a college course - THE college course - that was the most difficult I ever took. "I like France, I speak some French (un peu), my family has ties to France, yeah this class should be great!" I barely made it out alive. Though entirely unsympathetic, my professor was one of the most brilliant men I've ever had a chance to learn from, and aside from expanding my knowledge about this Gallic land, I became a much better student (in my writing, re ...more
Anthony Zupancic
Incredible. Huge, piercing history.
AskHistorians
A classic if there ever was one. It's easy to get enamored with Paris and the Eiffel Tower and the Belle Epoque when we think of this period, but France has always been tricky: it's much more rural than you think, especially the southern half. Weber does a great job explaining how France was rural and how the Third Republic worked to bring rural France into the fold: peasants into Frenchmen.
Ross
Jan 24, 2016 Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while in a history of modern France course studying in Istanbul and I still think about it often. It has been one of the most useful texts for understanding the creation of modern nation-states and its participants' identities.
Agnes Fontana
L'auteur nous montre comment les provinces françaises sont longtemps restées, contrairement aux images d'Epinal, des territoires étrangers les uns aux autres, misérables et sauvages ; comment tout cela n'a fini qu'avec la guerre de 14... structures familiales, mentalités, rapports au travail, à l'argent, traditions, fêtes... tout est examiné... Dommage que les auteurs cèdent à la tentation de l'exhaustivité et de l'érudition (en 1876, les scieurs de long du Nord du Limousin fêtaient la saint-Gas ...more
Shonda Wilson
Oct 07, 2015 Shonda Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything you ever thought about French identity, nationalism, and the French people is wrong and in a glorious way.
Kåre
Jeg kom ikke så langt. Tror at den kommer til at vise mange af de ting, man ved fra antropologi om "tilbagestående" folk, blot set i forhold til Franske landboere i perioden fra ca. 1850 til 1900. Interessant, at overgangen fra stor splittelse mellem land og overklasse i by kan tidsfestet til denne periode, som vel falder sammen med den nationale vækkelsesperiode. Men for at sige mere, skal jeg læse den bedre, og det var den for lang og ikke-fængende til.
Sam
Mar 21, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Penetrates luminously beyond its immediate area of investigation. I wonder: Whence the idea that "generality is the supreme faculty of the modern mind?" What an exciting philosophical precommitment, and apparently the only thing in the book that somehow escapes being footnoted...
Katie
Mar 03, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dense and detailed read. The argument can get lost in all the archival evidence, but the sources enable him to paint a very colorful picture of peasant life in 19th-century France. Had I more time to read this book, I could appreciate his ability to do so!
Eric
Dec 01, 2008 Eric marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I heard from a friend that this consists of many lurid anecdotes and squalid stories excavated from the archives of officialdom. Also, Horne's 'The Price of Glory' has made me very curious about France at the start of the last century.
Conceitedreader
Jun 12, 2013 Conceitedreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what i learned: what i learned is, the french peasant is even more backwards, dirty,and uncivilized than the inhabitants of Darkest Africa.
Ann
May 04, 2016 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classes
A wealth of information and a much better reference book than one to read straight through.
Annie
Aug 17, 2011 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
some might enjoy the detail but I found it a bit redundant at times.
Charles Nicholas Saenz
Sep 05, 2007 Charles Nicholas Saenz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: specialists
Brilliant!
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