The Politics of Survival: Artisans in Twentieth-Century France

Overview

The problem of the general political inclinations of the petite bourgeoisie, and especially its relationship to fascism, is one of the major questions currently facing historians dealing with European society in the past one hundred years. Independent artisans have at best been seen as an anachronism in the industrial age. Often, they are regarded as the social basis of the fascist movements of the 1920s and 30s because of their supposedly reactionary class interests. Unfortunately, such sweeping analyses—by both...

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The Politics of Survival: Artisans in Twentieth-Century France

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Overview

The problem of the general political inclinations of the petite bourgeoisie, and especially its relationship to fascism, is one of the major questions currently facing historians dealing with European society in the past one hundred years. Independent artisans have at best been seen as an anachronism in the industrial age. Often, they are regarded as the social basis of the fascist movements of the 1920s and 30s because of their supposedly reactionary class interests. Unfortunately, such sweeping analyses—by both Marxists and non-Marxists alike—have been based largely on one case, that of Germany. It is France however, that has been considered the pre-eminent nation of the petit bourgeois, and fascism had only limited appeal there. This is the central question Zdatny addresses in this book as he examines the social and political history of the archetypical petite bourgeois, the self-employed craftsmen of France.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Will stand for a long time to come as a major landmark in the history of small producers in France."—Journal of Social History

"An extremely well documented study....He traces with exceptional clarity the history of the artisan struggle to survive in an age of increasing industrialization....Zdatny has taken a heretofore unknown quantity in French social and economic history and explained clearly is vicissitudes during the 20th century."—Choice

"This sympathetic account of 'artisans' battle against their own irrelevance' is a welcome blend of social and political history....Zdatny's answers...also offer a worthwhile reassessment of the complex linkages between politics and social class."—Journal of Modern History

"Zdatny's sympathetic and well-written study permits us to understand the artisan and his world and to witness the fate of both in modern France."—American Historical Review

"A very complete story of the problematic definition and elaboration of a collective artisanal strategy....Zdatny's book has the merit of presenting the complex story of the artisanat's spokesmen and institutions."—French Politics & Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195059403
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Inventing the Artisanat, 1900-1925 3
2. A Fractious Movement, 1925-1932 34
3. Artisans Face the Crisis, 1932-1936 65
4. Artisans and the Popular Front, 1936-1939 96
5. Vichy: The Broken Promise 128
6. Epilogue: Artisans in the New France 154
7. Conclusion 181
Appendixes 186
A. Charter Of The Artisanat 187
B. Artisanal Manifesto 189
C. Accord General 191
Notes 193
Bibliography 233
Index 247
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