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Conscripts and Deserters : The Army and French Society During the Revolution and Empire - Alan Forrest

Conscripts and Deserters

The Army and French Society During the Revolution and Empire

Hardcover

Published: 23rd November 1989
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Between the outbreak of war with Austria in 1792 and Napoleon's final debacle in 1814, France remained almost continously at war, recruiting in the process some two to three million frenchmen--a level of recruitment unknown to previous generations and widely resented as an attack on the liberties of rural communities. Forrest challenges the notion of a nation heroically rushing to arms by examining the massive rates of desertion and avoidance of service as well as their consequences on French society--on military campaigns and the morale of armies, on political opinion at home, on the social fabric of local villages, and on the Napoleonic dream of bringing about a coherent and centralized state.

"Fascinating and important."--Journal of Modern History "Poses a series of challenges to much traditional thinking about the impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars on French society."--French History "A much richer view of the relationship between central government and local population at a time when only a minority of Frenchmen consciously identified themselves as such rather than as members of local societies....An excellent example of the social dimension of political and military policies."--American Historical Review "A sophisticated product of the Richard Cobb school of history, exploiting an impressive array of original material collected in sixteen archives. Forrest writes in an imaginative and evocative style without slipping into hyperbole."--International History Review "Forrest's work is an informative and meticulously-documented study. It provides manyu new insights into the conditions of everyday life in the France of this era."--French Review "An important study of a major military institution."--Journal of Military History "A wealth of vivid particular incident which admirably conveys the strength of popular feeling against conscription, the misery which was so often the lot of conscripts and deserters alike, the brutality with which conscription was enforced and resistance to it suppressed....Immensely readable."--History "A detailed and sometimes fascinating account....Nicely written and thoroughly documented, this is virtually the only work on this subject in English."--Choice

The Problem and Its Contextp. 3
The Weight of Military Recruitmentp. 20
The Extent of Evasionp. 43
The Roots of Resistancep. 74
The Deserter and Civilian Societyp. 98
Desertion and Criminalityp. 118
Desertion and Counterrevolutionp. 146
Desertion and the French Armiesp. 169
The Build-up of State Repressionp. 187
Desertion, the State, and the Peoplep. 219
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195059373
ISBN-10: 0195059379
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 23rd November 1989
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 16.0  x 2.52
Weight (kg): 0.65