A fresh, provocative history that renews our understanding of France in the world through short, incisive essays ranging from prehistoric frescoes to Coco Chanel to the terrorist attacks of 2015.
Bringing together an impressive group of established and up-and-coming historians, this bestselling history conceives of France not as a fixed, rooted entity, but instead as a place and an idea in flux, moving beyond all borders and frontiers, shaped by exchanges and mixtures. Presented in chronological order from 34,000 BC to 2015, each chapter covers a significant year from its own particular angle – the marriage of a Viking leader to a Carolingian princess proposed by Charles the Fat in 882, the Persian embassy's reception at the court of Louis XIV in 1715, the Chilean coup d'état against President Salvador Allende in 1973 that mobilised a generation of French left-wing activists.
France in the World combines the intellectual rigour of an academic work with the liveliness and readability of popular history. With a brand-new preface aimed at an international audience, this English-language edition will inspire Francophiles and scholars alike.
'A major work, exhaustive, controversial and fresh – and entirely relevant to Anglophone readers… [France in the World’s authors] deploy literary verve and narrative skill' The Guardian
'An eclectic and forward-looking history… engaging' TLS
'Traditional readings of French history are challenged in this fascinating, often provocative collection…entertaining and grounded in good scholarship' Financial Times
'A kaleidoscopic anthology of brief, vivid essays considering French culture from prehistoric times to today' New York Times
'This provocative history of France cover[s] a striking array of topics' New Yorker
'After several decades of somnolence, academic history is a hit…[France in the World] marks the arrival of a new generation of historians, full of energy and élan' New York Review of Books
'A most inviting entree to the breadth of French history… Approachable and entertaining' Foreword Reviews