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The Hollow Years

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Caught between the memory of a brutal war won at frightful cost and fear of another cataclysm, France in the 1930s suffered a failure of nerve. "The common sight of wheelchairs, crutches, empty sleeves dangling loosely or tucked into a jacket, had left the French with their fill of combat." Except against each other. Brilliantly chronicled here by a master historian, the 1 ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published June 24th 1996 (first published 1995)
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Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Europian Historians, World War II Buffs, Francophiles
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Eugen Weber. The Hollow Years: France in the 1930s. New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1994.

By the time he wrote this book, Eugen Weber had already established himself as a premier historian of France and of modern Europe in general. Particularly his book Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914 was already an example of a seminal work which challenged established scholarship and set new standards for research. He had also participated in the establishment of the Jo
Mark Singer
This was part of my reading list about France in the Second World War. Weber paints a devastating picture of how France fell aprt from within during the 1930s. The nation was divided along politcial and cultural lines, and also suffered from insipid leadership. I would recommend this to anyone interested in France and the Second World War.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, spring, war
The behavior of France in World War II always perplexed me. It appeared the French simply said, "C'est la vie", and all but invited the Germans to walk right on in without much of a fight. It has forever tainted France, to the point where I have travelled worldwide and have heard jokes about the lack of resolve for Frenchmen.

Yet, for almost 120 years, France was a mighty war power. Napoleon set in bootprints the path his countrymen would take, and it carried into the mid-nineteenth century where
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The late UCLA professor Eugen Weber is probably more familiar from his series of television lectures on the history of Europe than from his books. However, this history of France in the 1930s is an amazingly good read, albeit a sad one for Francophiles who know what happened in June 1940. The range of Weber's study, the wonderfully telling facts he uncovers, and his lively prose are sure to be of interest to any student of history, particularly those interested in modern France.
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, boy. this was a depressing and deflating read. I had earlier read Weber's "Fin de Siecle,"but was unprepared for his rather devastating assessment in the years between the First and Second World Wars.

I suppose the only word that fits is "feckless.," as regards the French.

This book puts all in perspective -- depressingly so.
Michael Martin
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Yes, finally. It was a dense, impressive historical work in the annals tradition. The spirit of Marc Bloch is always with Eugen Weber.
Apr 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Excellent background as to France's collapse in 1941.
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