Julian JacksonAug 27, 2023
France on Trial
The Case of Marshal Pétain
Harvard University Press 2023
There was a time when French people put up picture of Marshal Philippe Petain on their walls. He is a figure of immeasurable stature to the country of France. Victor of Verdun, a one-time minister of war, and finally, a traitor to his country. Or was he? Did Petain allow the stain of collaboration to tarnish his reputation, or did he use his figure to guard the French people from worse Nazi atrocities during the Vichy era? The answer to those questions would divide France in the years following World War II. The trial of Petain, which took place during a humid July in 1945, would leave some venerating the figure of Petain while others looked upon him as betrayer of the French people.
Professor Julian Jackson, is professor emeritus of history with Queen Mary University of London. His latest work is France on Trial: The Case of Marshal Pétain published by Harvard University Press in 2023, covers the political trial of Marshal Petain for treason. Dr. Jackson has authored an award-winning biography of Charles de Gaulle and other works on the history of modern France including his next work an exploration of the life of Andre Gide.
Rick Northrop is an ex-journalist and undergraduate student in Calgary, Alberta Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org