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The French Right Between the Wars: Political and Intellectual Movements from Conservatism to Fascism

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The French Right Between the Wars

Political and Intellectual Movements from Conservatism to Fascism

Edited by Samuel Kalman and Sean Kennedy

274 pages, 2 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-240-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-040-7 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (December 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-241-6 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Organized thematically into three sections and concluding with William Irvine's astute historiographical commentary, this edited volume unhinges analyses of the French political and intellectual Right from long-standing debates over whether France was "immune" tof ascism, and how to categorize its Rightist leagues… Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

“[These essays] make useful contributions. They all identify interesting problems, often fresh and original; display significant research; and are clearly written.”  ·  Robert O. Paxton, Columbia University

All of the chapters positively contribute to demonstrating the historiographical changes in our understanding of the French right. The concept is strong. Fascism in general is undergoing a fairly comprehensive reassessment and these articles certainly address the ways in which new interpretations affect French historiography.”  ·  Sam Goodfellow, Westminster College


During the interwar years France experienced severe political polarization. At the time many observers, particularly on the left, feared that the French right had embraced fascism, generating a fierce debate that has engaged scholars for decades, but has also obscured critical changes in French society and culture during the 1920s and 1930s. This collection of essays shifts the focus away from long-standing controversies in order to examine various elements of the French right, from writers to politicians, social workers to street fighters, in their broader social, cultural, and political contexts. It offers a wide-ranging reassessment of the structures, mentalities, and significance of various conservative and extremist organizations, deepening our understanding of French and European history in a troubled yet fascinating era.

Samuel Kalman is Associate Professor at St. Francis Xavier University. He is the author of French Colonial Fascism: The Extreme Right in Algeria, 1919-1939 (Palgrave, 2013), The Extreme Right in Interwar France: The Faisceau and the Croix de Feu (Asghate, 2008), numerous book chapters and journal articles, and editor of the 2010 special issue of the journal Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques devoted to the theme of colonial violence.

Sean Kennedy is Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick. He is the author of Reconciling France against Democracy: The Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Français, 1927-1945 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007), The Shock of War: Civilian Experiences, 1937-1945 (University of Toronto Press, 2011), and several scholarly articles.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: France


List of Abbreviations
Notes on the Contributors


PART 1: Political Movements

Chapter 1. Collective Psychology, anti-Southern Prejudice and Constitutional Reform in 1930s France: The Stavisky Affair and the Riots of 6 February 1934
Kevin Passmore

Chapter 2. Avec une brutalité toute particulière: Fascist Sympathies, Racial Violence, and the Municipal Police and Gendarmerie in Oran, 1936-37
Samuel Kalman

Chapter 3. The Veterans and the Extreme Right: The Union nationale des combattants, 1927-1936
Chris Millington

Chapter 4. Pacifism, the Fascist Temptation and the Ligue des droits de l’homme
Norman Ingram

PART 2: Gender and the Right

Chapter 5. Right-Wing Feminism and Conservative Women’s Militancy in Interwar France
Magali Della Sudda

Chapter 6. Gender, the Family, and the Fascist Temptation: Visions of Masculinity in the Natalist-Familialist Movement, 1922-1940
Cheryl A. Koos

Chapter 7. Was there a Fascist Femininity? Gender and French Fascism in Political Context
Geoff Read

Chapter 8. An Overview of Women and Gender in French Fascism
Daniella Sarnoff

PART 3: Intellectual and Cultural Trends

Chapter 9. “Our Body Doesn’t Have to be Ugly”: Physical Culture, Gender, and Racial Rejuvenation in the Croix de feu/Parti social français
Caroline Campbell

Chapter 10. Defending Christian Civilization: The Evolving Message of the Parti social français, 1936-1939
Sean Kennedy

Chapter 11. Were French Elites Allergic to Fascism? A Study of the Reception of the 1930s Dictatorships in Three French Periodicals
Laurent Kestel

Chapter 12. Salvation, Satire, and Solidarity: Right-Wing Culture in Interwar France
Jessica Wardhaugh

PART 4: Historiography

Chapter 13. Beyond Left and Right, and the Politics of the Third Republic: A Conversation
William D. Irvine

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