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An Ever-Present Past
Éric Conan, Henry Rousso; Nathan Bracher, trans.; Robert O. Paxton, fwd.

Available only as an ebook.

Dartmouth College Press
1998 • 311 pp. 6 x 9"
British & European History / World War II

$19.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-160-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

A plea for a more moderate, balanced, and accurate view of the Vichy regime.

Inflamed by current events and sometimes inaccurate or ambiguous news reports, French scrutiny of the Vichy regime and its involvement with Nazi policies began to intensify in the 1980s and continues unabated. Recent disclosures about the ambivalent role of French President François Mitterrand, coverage of the Paul Touvier trial, and revelations about a card file kept on French Jews have only added to the cacophony and confusion that characterize French attitudes toward the behavior of officials and public institutions during the Nazi occupation. The authors, while admitting their own role in the instigation of this reexamination - Eric Conan and Henry Rousso both have written on the subject for years - nonetheless argue that this kind of frenzied attention to the period "is disproportionate with respect both to the context of French history and to that of the present international scene, which has no lack of tragedies." France's national "duty to remember," the authors write, "has led to a total denial of the legitimacy of the 'right to forget.'"

ERIC CONAN is editor of Esprit and author of Sans Oublier les enfants (1991). HENRY ROUSSO is Research Director, CNRS (Institute of Modern History), Paris, and author of The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944 (1991).

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:29:13 -0500