French War Brides in America: An Oral History
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French War Brides in America: An Oral History

by ABC-CLIO
     
 

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In 1944 and 1945, millions of American soldiers took part in the Liberation of France. It was impossible for these GIs, who brought with them freedom, health, and wealth, to avoid fraternizing with French women. Some 6,500 Franco-American marriages would later take place. Many of these women would cross the Atlantic to join their husbands, following the example of

Overview

In 1944 and 1945, millions of American soldiers took part in the Liberation of France. It was impossible for these GIs, who brought with them freedom, health, and wealth, to avoid fraternizing with French women. Some 6,500 Franco-American marriages would later take place. Many of these women would cross the Atlantic to join their husbands, following the example of their compatriots who had wed doughboys after World War I. This book, a collection of oral histories, tells the story of mademoiselle and the GI by following the destinies of 15 French war brides—three from World War I and 12 from World War II. All of the women encountered cultural shock as they discovered an opulent and open society, but one which was also materialistic and racially segregated. But these women, like the many others who came to America, got on with it and survived. Although about half of the marriages ended in divorce, only about 150 of the women returned to France. Most of them, in their own way, lived the American Dream. Today these women are both French and American. They reflect the image of a successful betrothal between two cultures.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kaiser (Univ. of Paris-Sud) provides a welcome new perspective on the Franco-American relationship in this collection of oral histories of French war brides….Kaiser's introduction and conclusion contextualize and analyze these lives, emphasizing questions of biculturalism and cultural misunderstandings rather than issues of gender. As they look back on their long lives, these women share memories of how they assimilated to US culture while never losing their sense of being French. Recommended. - Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275993986
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/28/2007
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Hilary Kaiser is American by birth and the daughter of a GI who fought in Japan during World War II. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Paris-Sud and has done many oral histories of Americans living in France. The second edition of her book Veteran Recall: Americans in France Remember the War was published in June 2004.

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