New York Welcomes De Gaulle

“A Greater and Better Humanity”: Memory and trails of De Gaulle

Like most cities, New York is awash with memorials which speak of civic, national and international memories of past conflicts. Yet, in writing a lecture, I enjoyed discovering more about a memorial on its outskirts which struck me as decidedly unusual. I was writing a lecture about the aftermath of war, De Gaulle’s presidency, and the ways in which the legacies of conflict shaped diplomacy. … Continue reading “A Greater and Better Humanity”: Memory and trails of De Gaulle

Qonspiracy

Qonspiracy These might be the interesting times that people warned us about… I was approached by a journalist to talk about the way that conspiracism (and in particular the QAnon conspiracy) had developed in France in recent months (with the resulting article published by France24 here) and then shortly after by another (with the Vice article pubished here). It struck me that in the context … Continue reading Qonspiracy

COVID-19 and Macron’s “Society of Free Individuals”

One of the things I enjoy about teaching Contemporary History and Politics is the sense of a subject in motion. Sometimes, however, that motion can take you by surprise. On the morning of Wednesday 14th October, I was asked by France24 to watch French President Emmanuel Macron’s evening broadcast about his government’s approach to tackling the COVID-19 crisis and provide some instant analysis afterwards. I … Continue reading COVID-19 and Macron’s “Society of Free Individuals”

Apples and Sestertii: Shifting Symbols of Chirac

The slick Caius Preposterous knew how to turn a deal. He also knew the way to political power. How to subdue the rebellious Gauls? “Easy, O Caesar. Gold, the profit motive will enfeeble them and keep them busy. We must corrupt them.” When Goscinny and Uderzo needed a flash young man to seduce Obelix & Co in 1976, they needed look no further than to … Continue reading Apples and Sestertii: Shifting Symbols of Chirac

The Gilets Jaunes Protest: A Grand Refusal in an Age of Commuter Democracy

I wrote up some thoughts on the recent Gilets Jaunes protests taking place in France. You can read the article across at the ‘Age of Revolutions’ blog here: https://ageofrevolutions.com/2018/12/13/the-gilets-jaunes-protest-a-grand-refusal-in-an-age-of-commuter-democracy/ Image credit: By Thomas Bresson – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74933095 Continue reading The Gilets Jaunes Protest: A Grand Refusal in an Age of Commuter Democracy

Le Chant des Partisans: 75 years since a song took flight

When Andre Malraux eulogised Jean Moulin and the ‘army of shadows’ on the steps of the Panthéon in December 1964, he reached for the words of one of France’s national hymns. The Chant des Partisans was an anthem of the Liberation that had hung upon the lips of resisters even during the Nazi Occupation. First broadcast as a whistled tune on the BBC, the stirring … Continue reading Le Chant des Partisans: 75 years since a song took flight

Resistance by Moonlight

There’s always a slightly awkward moment when you talk to a room full of history enthusiasts about your favourite item in a Military Aviation Museum. For me, it’s not the Hawker Hunter in which Neville Duke broke the Air Speed Record, nor even the wreckage of a Hawker Hurricane shot down in the Battle of Britain. My favourite item, as I nervously admitted, is a … Continue reading Resistance by Moonlight

Macron’s Appeal: Resistance and Myths

In March 1942, the trade-unionist Christian Pineau secretly flew to London from Nazi Occupied France, seeking to connect his resistance network with the broader efforts of the Free French based in London. Upon arriving, he was granted an audience with General Charles De Gaulle, and they dined at the Connaught hotel in Mayfair. There he discovered the difference between the internal resistance being carried out … Continue reading Macron’s Appeal: Resistance and Myths

Teaching French History

I wrote a piece for the Arts and Humanities as Higher Education blog, and you can find it by visiting that site, or clicking on this LINK. In that piece, I wrote up a roundtable discussion that we’d had at a workshop organised by Chris Millington. In the blog, I mentioned translated source collections, and if you wondered which were my favourites, then here are the three … Continue reading Teaching French History