The facts behind France’s most potent modern myth

In Marianne in Chains, his last book on Occupied France, Robert Gildea offered an original view of life in that country between 1940 and 1944, arguing that outside the cities it had not always been as bad, nor had the Vichy regime always been as reactionary, as was subsequently claimed. Confining his research to three departments in the Loire valley, Gildea also suggested that for most people most of the time the Resistance was a dangerous irrelevance, to be avoided wherever possible. These conclusions were presented at a conference in Tours where they caused a minor uproar among French specialists.

  • Dan Howe

    This is scurrilous. The Resistance put up a tremendous effort, starting in 1946.

  • Leonard Jones

    I cannot take credit for this, it was Evan Sayet:

    You can only walk through the Arc de Triomphe so many times with
    your hands up before you should consider changing its name.

    I read a long time ago that if you asked any French citizen if they were
    in the underground, there were so many who answered in the affirmative
    that they would not have needed us to oust the Nazis!

  • Leonard Jones

    I screwed up! It should have been You can only walk through the Arc de
    Triomphe so many times with your hands up before you should consider
    changing its name.