The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought

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With more than two hundred entries by leading intellectuals in the French- and English-speaking world, this new volume presents the authoritative guide to twentieth-century French thought. Unrivaled in its scope and depth, The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought covers and critiques the intellectual figures, movements, and publications that helped shape and define fields as diverse as history and historiography, psychoanalysis, film, literary theory, cognitive and life sciences, literary criticism, philosophy, and economics. The contributors also discuss developments in French thought on such subjects as pacifism, fashion, gastronomy, technology, and urbanism.

More than just a reference volume, The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought offers original and imaginative explorations of a variety of topics. Contributors include prominent French thinkers, many of whom have played an integral role in the development of French thought, and American, British, and Canadian scholars who have been vital in the dissemination of French ideas. The book brings together such pairings as Etienne Balibar on Althusser; Jean Baudrillard on the futures of theory; Judith Butler on Hegel in France; Régis Debray on mediology; Julia Kristeva on Proust; Michael Morange on the life sciences; Paul Ricoeur on ethics; Elisabeth Roudinesco on psychoanalysis; and Roger Shattuck on humanisms.

The book is divided into four parts: Movements and Currents (including all the major schools of thought, such as the Annales, deconstruction, Gaullism, négritude, the New Right, psychoanalysis, and structuralism); Themes (ideas that helped define intellectual work in the twentieth century, such as anti-Semitism, the avant-garde, everyday life, film theory, and nationalism); Intellectuals (including critical accounts of the lives and work of such figures as Aron, Barthes, de Beauvoir, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Irigaray, Kristeva, Levinas, and Proust); and Dissemination (covering influential journals, television shows, radio programs, and newspapers).

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

French Forum
Creative in organization, innovative in choice of themes, and unsurpassed in quality... a volume without parallel.

— Andrew Sobanet

French Forum - Andrew Sobanet
Creative in organization, innovative in choice of themes, and unsurpassed in quality... a volume without parallel.
American Reference Books Annual - Delilah R. Caldwell
A remarkably well-designed and well-executed volume.
A highly polished piece of original scholarship.
France Magazine
A must for students of French intellectual history.
France Today
Massive and steady... a patchwork of colorful characters, abstract figures, dense superimpositions.

A highly polished piece of original scholarship.

Philadelphia Inquirer
[A] superb overview of its subject.

— Carlin Romano

American Reference Books Annual
The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought is a well-designed and well-executed volume.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Carlin Romano
[A] superb overview of its subject.
Library Journal
Both researchers and browsers will delight in this authoritative compendium of articles on France's intellectual century. Editor Kritzman (French & comparative literature, Dartmouth Coll.) oversees more than 150 scholars representing universities and other institutions in the United States, France, and Britain. Among them are Julia Kristeva, who is also represented by an article, of course; the current director of Le Monde; the recently deceased philosopher Paul Ricoeur; and others whom students of literature, the arts, and philosophy will find familiar. There are 200-plus accessible and engaging articles on French intellectual movements, themes, thinkers, and the media (e.g., specific journals or period technology) through which ideas were disseminated between the time of the Dreyfus affair (1894) and France's adoption of the Euro (1999). "French" here is interpreted broadly enough to include such figures as Camus, Cixous, and Fanon, while international concerns like cinema and women's history are presented with a specifically French focus. For the most part, articles range in length from three to five pages and include appropriate cross references; each is limited to a bibliography of three seminal works, in many cases by the author of the given article. Bottom Line The fine editing preserves the individual writing styles while allowing for an even reading experience-a feat that is reminiscent of the early 20th-century Encyclopaedia Britannica with its expertly authored articles on intellectual themes. For all public and academic collections.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231107907
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/2007
  • Series: None Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 1,482,356
  • Product dimensions: 8.09 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence D. Kritzman is the Pat and John Rosenwald Research Professor in the Arts and Sciences and professor of French and comparative literature at Dartmouth College. He is the author of The Rhetoric of Sexuality and the Literature of the French Renaissance and Columbia's forthcoming The Fabulous Imagination: On Montaigne's Essays. He is also the editor of the European Perspectives Series, published by Columbia University Press, and has written extensively on French intellectual thought, literature and psychoanalysis, as well as literary self-portraiture.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsList of ContributorsSelect ChronologyIntroductionPart I: Movements and CurrentsPart II: ThemesPart III: IntellectualsPart IV: DisseminationAlphabetical List of ArticlesIndex

Columbia University Press

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