France on Trial (häftad) NY
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Penguin Books Ltd
20 x 198 x 129 mm
332 g
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France on Trial

The Case of Marshal Ptain

Häftad,  Engelska, 2024-06-13
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Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize 2023 A Telegraph Book of the Year A Times, Spectator and Prospect Book of the Year One of the great contemporary historians of France on one of the most controversial periods of twentieth-century French history Few images more shocked the French population during the Occupation than the photograph of Marshal Philippe Ptain - the great French hero of the First World War - shaking the hand of Hitler on 20 October 1940. In a radio speech after this meeting, Ptain told the French people that he was 'entering down the road of collaboration'. He ended with the words: 'This is my policy. My ministers are responsible to me. It is I alone who will be judged by History.' Five years later, in July 1945, the hour of judgement - if not yet the judgement of History - arrived. Ptain was brought before a specially created High Court to answer for his conduct between the signing of the armistice with Germany in June 1940 and the Liberation of France in August 1944. Julian Jackson uses Ptain's three-week trial as a lens through which to examine the central crisis of twentieth-century French history - the defeat of 1940, the signing of the armistice and Vichy's policy of collaboration - what the main prosecutor Mornet called 'four years to erase from our history'. As head of the Vichy regime in the Second, Ptain became one of France's most notorious public figures, and the lightening-rod for collective guilt and retribution immediately after the Second World War. In France on Trial Jackson blends politics and personal drama to explore how different national factions sought to try to claim the past, or establish their interpretation of it, as a way of claiming the present and future.
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Julian Jackson brings to life here with his customary mastery the trial in 1945 of France's highest ranking military officer, accused of having betrayed his country. Philippe Ptain knew extremes of glory and shame in his long military career. In 1919, as the supreme commander of French armies in World War I, he rode down the Champs-Elyses at the head of a victory parade. After June 1940, with almost unlimited power and prestige, he governed France under German occupation. In 1945 he sat in a French courtroom charged with treason for his exercise of that power. In this compelling book, Julian Jackson gives the reader a seat in the jury box and then follows France's debate over Petain - hero or traitor? - over the next fifty years. -- Robert Paxton, Mellon Professor Emeritus of Social Science, Columbia University The great general of the First World War, collaborator with Germany in the Second, how is Marshal Philippe Ptain to be remembered? His trial on charges of treason divided the French in 1945 and has divided them ever since. In the hands of Julian Jackson, a superb historian with the sensibility of a novelist, this is a story not just about Ptain but about war and resistance, the moral compromises of leadership and the meaning of France itself. -- Margaret MacMillan, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford A superb book ... Jackson is that rare beast: a distinguished academic historian who writes with flair and clarity... one could almost be buried in a work of high-class fiction... 5/5 stars * Sunday Telegraph * If... cowardice, bad faith, dishonour and moral ambivalence is your thing, read on... A highly talented storyteller, Jackson certainly knows how to set the scene... What is chilling in Jackson's beautifully researched and meticulous account of the trial is the hopeless mediocrity of almost all people involved in it: from judges and jurors (rsistants and parliamentarians) to lawyers prosecutors and witnesses. * Observer * Julian Jackson, the foremost historian of the period, here provides a magisterial account of this extraordinary yet also somehow squalid courtroom drama and its context. ... [A] fine, thought-provoking book. * Sunday Times * A splendid book ... The central narrative of the trial grips like a thriller ... Jackson's vivid prose is leavened by wit and sharpened by telling details ... This is a substantial achievement by a historian at the top of his game. * Literary Review * In France on Trial, his masterful account of the case, the historian Julian Jackson explains that it was not just Ptain who was being called to account, but the whole of France. * Financial Times * Painstakingly researched ... Jackson vividly reconstructs the drama. * Economist * An enthralling book ... The past is dangerous, you see. Real, hard history of this kind can reach out of the page and stick its thumb in your eye. Who needs fiction when the truth is as gripping as this? 5/5 stars. * Mail on Sunday * An essential key to understanding the country's recent past. * Spectator * A scrupulous and vivid reconstruction of the trial * Times Literary Supplement * 'It is a sound approach to cover such a big canvas, one that springs to life thanks to Jackson's command of sources and exquisite use of anecdotes. ... There is a cinematic quality to the way Jackson brings us into the packed courtroom ... Listening to the testimonies, we too wrestle with terrible dilemmas' * The Critic * Professor Jackson's clear exposition of a criminal trial in the context of modern French history is an excellent illustration of a certain class of case with serious political consequences, beyond those of the accused. * Irish Legal News * I have nothing but praise for the way Jackson tells the story, with a clear elucidation of the swirling political passions, and vivid portraits of the heroes and villains, and those in between. * Tablet * Julian Jackson's France on

Övrig information

Julian Jackson is Emeritus Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London and one of the foremost British scholars of twentieth-century France. A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle won the Duff Cooper Prize, the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, the American Library in Paris Award, the Franco-British Society Literary Prize, the Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique du Touquet and the Prix Special du Jury de Prix de Gopolitique. His other books include France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times History Book Award, and The Fall of France, which won the Wolfson History Prize in 2004. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Acadmiques and Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.