France by Eugen Joseph Weber
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France
By Eugen Joseph Weber

France

Fin De Siecle

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Format: Paperback

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France by Eugen Joseph Weber

Book Description

The end of the nineteenth century in France was marked by political scandals, social unrest, dissension, and "decadence." Yet the "fin de siecle" was also an era of great social and scientific progress, a time when advantages previously reserved for the privileged began to be shared by the many. Public transportation, electrical illumination, standard time, and an improved water supply radically altered the life of the modest folk, who found time for travel and leisure activities--including sports such as cycling. Change became the nature of things, and people believed that further improvement was not only possible but inevitable.In this thoroughly engaging history, Eugen Weber describes ways of life, not as recorded by general history, but as contemporaries experienced them. He writes about political atmosphere and public prejudices rather than standard political history. Water and washing, bicycles and public transportation engage him more than great scientific discoveries. He discusses academic painting and poster art, the popular stage and music halls, at greater length than avant-garde and classic theater or opera. In this book the importance of telephones, plumbing, and central heating outranks such traditional subjects as international developments, the rise of organized labor, and the spread of socialism.Weber does not neglect the darker side of the "fin de siecle." The discrepancy between material advance and spiritual dejection, characteristic of our own times, interests him as much as the idea of progress, and he reminds us that for most people the period was far from elegant. In the lurid context of military defeat, political instability, public scandal, and clamorous social criticism, one had also to contend with civic dirt, unsanitary food, mob violence, and the seeds of modem-day scourges: pollution, drugs, sensationalism, debased art, the erosion of moral character. Yet millions of fin de siecle French lived as only thousands had lived fifty years before; while their advance was slow, their right to improvement was conceded."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674318137
ISBN-10: 0674318137
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 23mm)
Pages: 308
Imprint: The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-1988
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Eugen Joseph Weber

Tour de France, 1903-2003 by Eugen Joseph Weber Tour de France, 1903-2003, Paperback (July 2003)

This book analyses the Tour de France over its long history both as France's most prestigious and famous sporting event and as a European and, increasingly, a world cycling competition.

Tour de France 1903-2003 by Eugen Joseph Weber Tour de France 1903-2003, Hardback (July 2003)

This book analyses the Tour de France over its long history both as France's most prestigious and famous sporting event and as a European and, increasingly, a world cycling competition.

Hollow Years by Eugen Joseph Weber Hollow Years, Paperback (April 1996)

"[Told with] learning and verve... A scintillating introduction to this troubled French decade."-Charles S. Maier, New York Times Book Review

My France by Eugen Joseph Weber My France, Paperback (March 1992)

Fifty years after reaching France by way of school in England, Weber presents a series of illuminations on the country he loves, and whose civilization he has made the centre of his work. "My France" focuses on politics, myths, personalities, public problems, actions and conflicts in French life.

» View all books by Eugen Joseph Weber

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Author Biography - Eugen Joseph Weber

Eugen Weber is Joan Palevsky Professor of Modern European History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Tour de France, 1903-2003 by Eugen Joseph Weber
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