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The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France

by Tyler Stovall Sue Peabody

France has long defined itself as a color-blind nation where racial bias has no place. Even today, the French universal curriculum for secondary students makes no mention of race or slavery, and many French scholars still resist addressing racial questions. Yet, as this groundbreaking volume shows, color and other racial markers have been major factors in French national life for more than three hundred years. The sixteen essays in The Color of Liberty offer a wealth of innovative research on the neglected history of race in France, ranging from the early modern period to the present. The Color of Liberty addresses four major themes: the evolution of race as an idea in France; representations of "the other" in French literature, art, government, and trade; the international dimensions of French racial thinking, particularly in relation to colonialism; and the impact of racial differences on the shaping of the modern French city. The many permutations of race in French history--as assigned identity, consumer product icon, scientific discourse, philosophical problem, by-product of migration, or tool in empire building--here receive nuanced treatments confronting the malleability of ideas about race and the uses to which they have been put. Contributors. Leora Auslander, Claude Blanckaert, Alice Conklin, Fred Constant, Laurent Dubois, Yal Simpson Fletcher, Richard Fogarty, John Garrigus, Dana Hale, Thomas C. Holt, Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Dennis McEnnerney, Michael A. Osborne, Lynn Palermo, Sue Peabody, Pierre H. Boulle, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, Tyler Stovall, Michael G. Vann, Gary Wilder

Paris and the Spirit of 1919

by Tyler Stovall

This transnational history of Paris in 1919 explores the global implications of the revolutionary crisis of French society at the end of World War I. As the site of the peace conference Paris was a victorious capital and a city at the center of the world, and Tyler Stovall explores these intersections of globalization and local revolution. The book takes as its central point the eruption of political activism in 1919, using the events of that year to illustrate broader tensions in working class, race, and gender politics in Parisian, French, and ultimately global society which fueled debates about colonial subjects and the empire. Viewing consumerism and consumer politics as key both to the revolutionary crisis and to new ideas about working class identity, and arguing against the idea that consumerism depoliticized working people, this history of local labor movements is a study in the making of the modern world.

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