Andrew Sobanet, “Generation Stalin:  French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality” (Indiana UP, 2018)
In his 1924 biography of Mahatma Gandhi, writer Romain Rolland embraced the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence and decried the “dictators of Moscow” and the “idolatrous ideology of the Revolution.”  Seven years later, in a startling reversal, Rolland expressed his support for the USSR and confidence in Soviet leaders:  “The builders... Read More
Alexandre Kojève, “Atheism” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Columbia University press has just released a new translation of a work by philosopher Alexandre Kojève, simply titled Atheism, translated by Professor Jeff Love. Considered to be one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and unconventional thinkers, Kojève was a Russian émigré to France whose lectures on Hegel in the... Read More
Stefanos Geroulanos, “Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present” (Stanford UP, 2017)
What does it mean to do a “microhistory” of a concept? Stefanos Geroulanos pursues just such a project in the 22 chapters of Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present (Stanford University Press, 2017). A rich and complex history of France in the decades after 1945, the... Read More
Sun-Young Park, “Ideals of the Body: Architecture, Urbanism, and Hygiene in Postrevolutionary Paris” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2018)
We know quite a bit about the physical signatures of urban “modernity” foisted upon Paris by Baron Haussmann in the late nineteenth century — the broad boulevards, networked infrastructures, connected apartment houses, and assorted monuments — but little scholarship has seized on its precursors in the half-century prior. In Ideals... Read More
Benoît Majerus, “From the Middle Ages to Today: Experiences and Representations of Madness in Paris” (Parigramme, 2018)
With Paris as the organizing locus of his new book, Du moyen âge à nos jours, expériences et représentations de la folie à Paris [From the Middle Ages to Today, Experiences and Representations of Madness in Paris], Benoît Majerus uses an impressively wide range of visual sources, from religious images and... Read More