France Since the Popular Front: Government and People 1936-1996
This text is a history of contemporary France that sets the changing fortunes of people and government in a broad, international context. The country ... Show synopsis This text is a history of contemporary France that sets the changing fortunes of people and government in a broad, international context. The country's economic performance and social and political record are compared with those of her European neighbours, and her foreign policy is assessed in the light of the opportunities afforded by the international circumstances of the time. The book traces the evolution of French political life from the short-lived ministries of the Third and Fourth Republics to the greater stability of the Fifth Republic. It shows how this development was aided not only by the change to a semi-presidential system of government, but also by the decline of old divisive issues, involving the Church, the constitution, and overseas empire. While the main concern of the book is with the broad forces producing change and consolidation, close attention is also given to key political figures and events of the period, notably the crises of 1940, 1958 and 1968.