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The Embrace of Unreason: France, 1914-1940 (Paperback)
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Spanning the turbulent decades between the World Wars, The Embrace of Unreason casts new light on the darkest years in modern French history. It is a fascinating reconsideration of the political, social, and religious movements that led to France’s move away from the humanistic traditions and rationalistic ideals of the Enlightenment and towards submission to authority—and the dramatic rise of Fascism and anti-Semitism. Drawing on newspaper articles, journals, and literary works of the time, acclaimed biographer and cultural historian Frederick Brown explores the forces unleashed by the Dreyfus Affair and how clashing ideologies and new artistic movements led France to an era of violence and nationalistic fervor.
About the Author
Frederick Brown is the author of several award-winning books, including For the Soul of France; Flaubert, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; and Zola, one of The New York Times best books of the year. Brown has twice been the recipient of both Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He lives in New York City.
“Brown [is] the leading English-language chronicler of this appalling but fascinating French story.” —New Republic
“Brilliant. . . . At once social history, cultural history, and a series of biographical sketches, Frederick Brown’s book is both illuminating and a warning. . . . This is terrific history—Brown is an incisive biographer, very good on politics, still better on culture, and anybody who is interested in France . . . should read this book.” —The Daily Beast
“A stimulating portrayal. . . . Brown deftly and economically analyzes [his subjects]. . . . He succeeds as usual in joining accurate scholarship to elegant and often pithy style.” —The New York Review of Books
“[Brown] is a historian who eschews jargon and knows how to make complicated questions clear to the common reader.” —The Wall Street Journal