Non-Fiction Books:

Nimes at War

Religion, Politics, and Public Opinion in the Gard, 1938-1944


Paperback / softback

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Nimes at War by Robert Zaretsky
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""In this highly interesting book, Robert Zaretsky describes how French men and women in the department of the Gard lived the Vichy regime from day to day. It will be most useful to historians of France, but it will also be welcomed by scholars who deal with the Second World War, the history of the Jews, and the history of religion. It might well be used in undergraduate classes as a case study for popular opinion in modern France.""-Patrice Higonnet, Harvard University ""Vichy will not go away. As I write, France is in the throes of the Paul Touvier affair...The Touvier affair is just the most recent expression of what Henry Rousso has called the Vichy syndrome."" So begins Robert Zaretsky's timely study of everyday life in France during the ""dark years"" of Vichy. While many studies of Vichy France have either focused on specific lives or ideas or covered the period in broad and synthetic terms, local studies such as this promise to nuance our understanding of wartime France. By concentrating on the city of Nimes and the department of the Gard, Zaretsky moves beyond generalizations concerning resistance and collaboration to consider issues of historical continuity and change within a specific local context. In the words and acts of local French men and women, he finds the character of ""mentalities"" in the heart of our own century. The Gard is well chosen as the focus of this study. From the sixteenth century onward, the region had been a flash point between warring Catholics and Protestants. By the early twentieth century, that tension had eased but not disappeared. Zaretsky examines the dynamics between local Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish communities, arguing that with the advent of Vichy-a regime that, if not clerical, was deeply deferential to the Catholic Church-tension and conflict resurfaced in the Gard. Nimes at War is based on a wealth of archival materials-police and prefectoral reports, official departmental documents, local

Author Biography

Robert Zaretsky teaches in the Honors College of the University of Houston.
Release date Australia
May 21st, 2004
Country of Publication
United States
Pennsylvania State University Press
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