The French in Love and War by Professor Charles Rearick
Popular Culture in the Era of the World Wars

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



From the bloodbaths of the First World War through the military defeat and Nazi occupation of the Second World War, the people of France struggled with the pain and anxieties of a nation in crisis. In this sophisticated cultural history of France from 1914 to 1945, Charles Rearick tells how the French discovered ways to cope and found reassurance and relief through songs, movies, and images of ordinary people that they took to heart. Augmenting this fascinating story with more than 125 illustrations, Rearick reveals the power of popular myths and symbols at work throughout a critical period of the twentieth century. In everyday life of this time, stories of ordinary French people carried important messages of gritty self-reliance and cheerful good humor. Images of common folk - the jovial infantryman and his devoted woman, the bantering working-class Parisian, the suntanned hiking youth, the militant striker - drew on shared experiences, wishes, fears, and interests. These were embodied in the songs and personas of such musical stars as Maurice Chevalier, Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Tino Rossi, Charles Trenet, and Edith Piaf; in the films of such directors as Rene Clair, Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier, and Marcel Pagnol; and in movie characters played by Jean Gabin, Fernandel, Michele Morgan, and others. Rearick shows how these celebrities and characters influenced the ways in which the French redefined their lives and responded to adversity.

About Professor Charles Rearick

See more books from this Author
Charles Rearick is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts. Rosemary Wakeman is Associate Professor of History at Fordham University.
Published June 25, 1997 by Yale University Press. 332 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The French in Love and War

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

After the Great War the French identity felt pulled in opposite directions: toward modernity, such as the American-influenced Jazz Age, and toward nostalgia for old France (even, in Piaf's songs, for Paris's apache pimps and molls).

| Read Full Review of The French in Love and War: P...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This is a more lighthearted look at a period often viewed in light of subsequent collaboration, but Rearick (a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts) still offers insights into the larger trends and political shifts from vacations and street demonstration to the Popular Front to...

| Read Full Review of The French in Love and War: P...

Rate this book!

Add Review