"Civil wars of the mind": the commemoration of the 1789 revolution in the Parisian press of the radical right, 1939
European History Quarterly, 30, (3), . (doi:10.1177/026569140003000301).
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This article explores the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1939 and the responses to it of agents on the Left, centre and radical Right of French Political culture. In particular, it is argued that French fascists, especially the ‘literary fascists’ of Action française and Je suis partout, developed throughout the sesquicentennial year a critique of revolutionary and republican forces that placed 1789 at the beginning of the French slide into a decadent modernity marked by class conflict, racial integration and the blurring of the boundaries between the sexes. Such an analysis reveals the importance of practising historians in cultural political debate and shows how the commemoration of the 1789 Revolution reflected, in part, contemporary fears of an apocalyptic war against Germany. In addition, the memory of the contested eighteenth-century past was displaced for these actors by a contemplation of a supposedly pure and pre-modern era embodied by Joan of Arc.
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