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The construction of memory in interwar France / Daniel J. Sherman.

By: Sherman, Daniel J.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 1999Description: 414 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.ISBN: 0226752852 (alk. paper); 9780226752853 (alk. paper).Subject(s): France -- History -- 1914-1940 -- Historiography | World War, 1914-1918 -- France -- Influence | War memorials -- France -- Psychological aspects | Memorial rites and ceremonies -- Social aspects -- FranceDDC classification: 940.4/6544 Other classification: 15.70 | 21.59
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DC389 .S437 1999 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001480474

Includes bibliographical references (p. 333-405) and index.

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CHOICE Review

Within the context of a sophisticated analysis of "social/collective memory," Sherman examines the erection of war memorials in France following the Great War. Rather than accepting this activity as "the apex of republican civic pedagogy," he attempts to expose the contemporary social and political discourses of the day: the impact of the war on republican values; the imagery and rituals associated with the monuments; the degree to which the latter were sites of consensus or contestation. Sherman first establishes the prevailing perception of the war through a critical reading of various textual representations of the war. Second, he examines the relationship between local commemorative practices and national ossuaries to elucidate symbolic meanings attributed to the disposal of remains, inscription of names, and the worth of individuals. The core of the study is devoted to an analysis of the language and iconography of local commemorative practice in four departments of France: Meuse; Morbihan; Loir-et-Cher; and Var. These regions are used to demonstrate each stage in the memorialization process. An epilogue examines the shifts that have taken place in commemorative culture since WW I. Profusely illustrated, finely referenced, and well presented, this study constitutes a major contribution to the literature on French identity, WW I, and social memory. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Osborne; Queen's University at Kingston

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