This engaging new account of French politics takes an unconventional approach to its turbulent subject. Rather than seeing a political history of rupture and fragmentation, Hazareesingh emphasizes continuity, and shows how opposing parties and movements throughout French history have been brought together by ideas.
Treating French political history from 1789 to the present, Hazareesingh focuses on the relationship between ideologies and political movements. He covers all the important features of French public life in the period, including the nature of republicanism, nationalism, and religion and the role of intellectuals. These features in turn provide the setting for his treatment of peace movements and the political traditions of liberalism, socialism, Gaullism, and communism.
Written in a clear and accessible style, this book will be invaluable guide to French politics for students and scholars and an informative introduction for general readers interested in France.
`the book continually beguiles the reader by the skill and economy with which it explains complex matters in a way that is both intelligible to the relative newcomer to French politics and is a lesson to seasoned travellers on how to combine simplicity of exposition with fidelity to the subtleties of the subject ... this book is a valuable addition to the surprisingly lean list of works that successfully make sense of political traditions of the last two
centuries in France without oversimplification or distortion. It would seem destined for a long life as staple student reading.'
`What Hazareesingh has managed is a work of real quality that engages the study of modern France in three distinctive keys. He selects and discusses, deftly and with illustration, what he sees as the main strands of modern French political culture; he locates these firmly in their history, using that history as a source of enlightenment without slipping into the trap of historicism; and he takes the opportunity to propose some subtle but succinct analyses
of the political traditions in question. In short, his book lies at the difficult intersection of political science, intellectual history and political theory and combines the usually disparate approaches
of these sub-disciplines with unusual confidence and success ... The result is impressive.'
Tony R. Judt, New York University
`the author is to be congratulated on the broad coverage he provides...a well written and entertaining book which will be of use to all those with an interest in the developmetn of France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Always taking care to define his terms, the author presents an incisive and wide-ranging analysis of government, political movements and ideas. ..this is a stimulating work which deserves a wide readership.'
`This is a very clear and helpful book, penetrating and succinct.'
Robert Gilda, Merton College
`The only currently available book of its kind on the subject and succinctly-written.'
B.J. Criddle, University of Aberdeen
`A very interesting book and accessible enough for 1st/2nd year undergraduates.'
Nick Hewlett, Oxford Brookes University
`Excellent and well written study. Complements government and institutions oriented texts supremely well.'
Raymond Kuhn, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London
`This is an excellent book, written in a lively and interesting way. It should stimulate students at all levels.'
Professor Malcolm Anderson, University of Edinburgh
`Excellent background reading for the Politics strand in the School of Modern Languages.'
David Curtis, University of Hull
`This is a really interesting and rather different text on French politics.'
Paul Webb, Brunel University
`The book is extremely clearly written and covers areas not really discussed elsewhere.'
Professor Anne Stevens, University of Kent
`An excellent, intelligent and up-to-date analysis of complex political themes that form the bed-rock of modern French political culture.'
Dr J.F.V. Keiger, University of Salford
`An unusually lucid book on French history, culture and thought.'
B. Boyce, University of Liverpool
`Should help to illuminate some of the specifies of French political culture and stimulate further interest.'
Times Literary Supplement
`A refreshing and distinctive approach to the unravelling of the complexities of the French political system ... a clearly defined overview of the state of France today ... an important contribution to any study of modern French political history, and there is much of interest to whet the reader's appetite ... a stimulating book.'
Modern and Contemporary France
`A series of essays, all of which contain interesting insights ... we must be grateful for what is here. For those already familiar with the evolution of modern France, Sudhir Hazareesingh's study should help to illuminate some of the specifies of French political culture and stimulate further interest.'
Times Literary Supplement
`...the most interesting parts of the book deal with particular traditions. The appeal of this book lies in its being well written, in a constant willingness to challenge accepted orthodoxies, and in its preference for tackling large and difficult problems rather than more easily posed trivial ones.'
`It is necessary ... to have at least some background knowledge to both French history and French government to obtain the most from reading this book ... those with that background ... should find that this book gives them a different slant and approach to their studies, which should make the reading of it a stimulating exercise.'
`A well written and entertaining book which will be of use to all those with an interest in the development of France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Always taking care to define his terms, the author presents an incisive and wide-ranging analysis of government, political movements, and ideas ... this is a stimulating work which deserves a wide readership.'