This book is a virtuoso performance. At stake is the trajectory of modern France and its historiography, which gives us, briefly, varying monarchic heroes from Jeanne d’Arc to Henry IV, Louis XIV, and, especially since 1789, Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle, along with their allies and enemies, their admirers and their critics.1 The book outlines their careers and summarizes the work of their many historians, even that of René Goscinny, the creator of the comic-book characters Astérix and Obélix. Gueniffey considers all of them from a lofty point of view. He begins with a judgment about “the end of history” borrowed from Furet—not the “end of history” from an American standpoint with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1988 but for France.2 De Gaulle’s place in history marked the end of the history for France as it been written for centuries, as “a traditional idea of...
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June 21 2021
Napoleon & De Gaulle: Heroes and History
Napoleon & De Gaulle: Heroes and History. By
Harvard University Press,
Online ISSN: 1530-9169
Print ISSN: 0022-1953
© 2021 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2021) 52 (1): 122–124.
Patrice Higonnet; Napoleon & De Gaulle: Heroes and History. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 52 (1): 122–124. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01676
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