The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation

The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation

by Frederic Spotts
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The German occupation of France from 1940 to 1945 presented wrenching challenges for the nation’s artists and intellectuals. Some were able to flee the country; those who remained—including Gide and Céline, Picasso and Matisse, Cortot and Messiaen, and Cocteau and Gabin—responded in various ways. This fascinating book is the first to provide

See more details below

Overview

The German occupation of France from 1940 to 1945 presented wrenching challenges for the nation’s artists and intellectuals. Some were able to flee the country; those who remained—including Gide and Céline, Picasso and Matisse, Cortot and Messiaen, and Cocteau and Gabin—responded in various ways. This fascinating book is the first to provide a full account of how France’s artistic leaders coped under the crushing German presence. Some became heroes, others villains; most were simply survivors.

Filled with anecdotes about the artists, composers, writers, filmmakers, and actors who lived through the years of occupation, the book illuminates the disconcerting experience of life and work within a cultural prison. Frederic Spotts uncovers Hitler’s plan to pacify the French through an active cultural life, and examines the unexpected vibrancy of opera, ballet, painting, theater, and film in both the Occupied and Vichy Zones. In view of the longer-term goal to supplant French with German culture, Spotts offers moving insight into the predicament of French artists as they fought to preserve their country’s cultural and national identity.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

National Post

"Spotts provides a detailed, intimate account of French artists in nervous co-existence with the Nazis."—Robert Fulford, National Post

— Robert Fulford

The Guardian G2

“A fascinating account of how famous writers, artists, and intellectuals living in France during the war survived the Nazi occupation; a whole spectrum from heroes to collaborators.” — Marcel Berlins, Guardian G2

— Marcel Berlins

New Statesman

"Admirably forensic and entertaining . . . a set of refreshing opinions on familiar figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and the rest of the crowd clustered around the cafes of Saint-Germain-des Prés. . . . [A]n excellent book." — Andrew Hussey, New Statesman

— Andrew Hussey

Wall Street Journal

“Carefully, and authoritatively written. . . . [This book] lifts the lid on one of the least known—and most shameful—episodes of the period.”—Wall Street Journal

Atlantic

"Those unlucky enough to have to live in Nazi-occupied France ran the gamut from Resistance heroes to enthusiastic collaborators; most just tried to get on with their lives and work. Spotts shows that those involved in the life of the mind and imagination were no exception. He presents the individual cases with a clear, and therefore subtle, eye."—The Atlantic

H-France Review

"This is an important store and the general reader will gain a useful insight into French artistic life during the Occupation and the Epuration."--Nicholas Hewitt, H-France Review

— Nicholas Hewitt

National Post - Robert Fulford

"Spotts provides a detailed, intimate account of French artists in nervous co-existence with the Nazis."—Robert Fulford, National Post
The Guardian G2 - Marcel Berlins

“A fascinating account of how famous writers, artists, and intellectuals living in France during the war survived the Nazi occupation; a whole spectrum from heroes to collaborators.” — Marcel Berlins, Guardian G2

New Statesman - Andrew Hussey

"Admirably forensic and entertaining . . . a set of refreshing opinions on familiar figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and the rest of the crowd clustered around the cafes of Saint-Germain-des Prés. . . . [A]n excellent book." — Andrew Hussey, New Statesman

H-France Review - Nicholas Hewitt

"This is an important store and the general reader will gain a useful insight into French artistic life during the Occupation and the Epuration."--Nicholas Hewitt, H-France Review

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300142372
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
955,176
File size:
1 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >