New Books Network

Kathleen Wellman, “Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France” (Yale UP, 2013)
Queens and royal mistresses of the Renaissance were the Hollywood celebrities of their time, which explains their enduring magnetism for writers, artists, and the public. Historians and scholars, however, have long ignored them. Enlightenment philosophers used descriptions of powerful women in the French court to mock the monarchy. Nineteenth-century historians... Read More
Sandrine Sanos, “The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism and Gender in 1930s France” (Stanford University Press, 2013)
Sandrine Sanos‘s new book, The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism and Gender in 1930s France (Stanford University Press, 2013), examines the central roles that gender, sexuality, and race played in the far-right ideologies of the 1930s. Re-reading the work and ideas of a group of male intellectuals known as... Read More
Jennifer Sessions, “By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria” (Cornell UP, 2011)
Early modern European imperialism is really pretty easy to understand. Spain, Portugal, England, France, Russia and the rest were ruled by people whose business was war. They were conquerors, and conquering was what they did. So, when they attacked and subdued vast stretches of the world, they did so without... Read More
Lindsay Krasnoff, “The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France, 1958-2010” (Lexington Books, 2012)
In 1967, an official of the French basketball federation lamented the team’s poor finish at that year’s European Championships in Finland. The French team finished sixth in their group of eight, and then lost in the first game of the knockout stage. The official noted that Europe’s top teams, such... Read More
Eric Jennings, “Imperial Heights: Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina” (University of California Press, 2011)
There is a city in the Southern hills of Vietnam where honeymooners travel each year to affirm their love at high altitude, breathing in the alpine air and soaking in the legacies of French colonialism. Developed by the French in the nineteenth century, Dalat remains a contemporary tourist destination fully... Read More
Gayle K. Brunelle and Annette Finley-Croswhite, “Murder in the Metro: Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule in 1930s France” (LSU Press, 2013)
The stories of individual lives are endlessly complex, weaving together the contemporary events, the surrounding culture, and incorporating random factual odds and ends. This is one of the challenges of writing biography- one must become expert on so many things- and also one of the pleasures of reading it: the... Read More
Brian Sandberg, “Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010)
Brian Sandberg‘s Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) significantly revises our understanding of early modern military culture and absolutism. By examining the frequent civil wars of the early seventeenth century in France, Sandberg demonstrates that the French nobility were neither... Read More