Eugen Joseph Weber was a Romanian-born American historian with a special focus on His book: Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France is a classic presentation of modernization theory. Although other. Buy Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, by Eugen Weber (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday. Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, Front Cover · Eugen Weber. Stanford University Press, – Social Science –

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Bryce rated it liked it Mar 23, There are some claims that are unsubstantiated for example, the claim that the European mind was the same untilwhen it divided into high and low cultures until it came back together at the end of the 19th century.

Please try again later. The author of this lively, often witty, and always provocative work traces how France underwent a veritable crisis of civili France achieved national unity much later than is commonly supposed.

Peasants into Frenchmen: the modernization of rural France,

The Freycinet Plan to link isolated regions by roads and railroad helped percolate industrialization into rural areas and gravely undermined particularism. We can, however, look forward for followup works–Graham Robb’s The Discovery of Francefor instance–to carry the torch. Aug 10, Annie rated it it was ok. It has been one of the most useful texts for understanding the creation of modern nation-states and its participants’ identities.

Weber brought a new perspective on the school as vehicle for francophonization; though it was less than successful in homogenous non-Francophone peasant societies Brittany is the most spectacular examplein areas even minimally open to the French language it removed the children from the traditional norms of peasant society. To ask other readers questions about Peasants Into Frenchmenplease sign up.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The products of industry rendered many peasant skills useless, and the expanding school system taught not only the language of the dominant culture but its values as well, among them patriotism.


If this book has a fault, it is that it does not consider the substantial foreign immigration to France. The argument can get lost in all the archival evidence, but the sources enable him to paint a very colorful picture of peasant life in 19th-century France. It seems certain that the same methods used to acculturate Limousins to French norms were used to acculturate Ligurians; yet, there was little mention of foreign immigration apart from a mention of Flemish immigrants in Nord and other passing statements.

People tend to forget how heterogeneous–ethnically, culturally, and otherwise–modern states used to be. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Moreover, he does not seem to have the analytical tools to look into the minds of the peasantry– that is something that cannot be done with empiricism alone.

A dense and detailed read. I heard from a friend that this consists of many lurid anecdotes and squalid stories excavated from the archives of officialdom. Weber emphasizes that well into the 19th century few French citizens regularly spoke French, but rather regional languages or dialects such as BretonGasconBasqueCatalanFlemishAlsatianand Corsican.

At times, one does have to wonder whether he is being too broad-sweeping that there weren’t modernization efforts webe tobut overall the thesis feels compelling. Government-sponsored holidays, such as Bastille Day, eventually won over local ones as peasants began to relegate celebrations such as the May Queens, Epiphany to children, marking the fading of beliefs and mysticism.

Another problem is that Weber bombards the reader with provincial customs and habits without coherence. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account?

Ships from and sold by Amazon. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The dogged adherence to thatched roofs finally gave way to mass-produced tiles.

Related articles in Google Scholar. Be the first to ask a question about Peasants Into Frenchmen. Contents A Country of Savages. The growth of mass media–book and magazine publishing, popular music, and the like–also played an important role in making French trendy for the non-Francophone young and diminishing the intergenerational transmission of language. This is a very carefully composed and meticulously researched work on the transition from the traditional to the modern way of life in rural France between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War One person found this helpful.


The Great War simply ushered an even more complete and quicker assimilation.

Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Article PDF first page preview. ByFrance had finally become La Patrie in fact as it had so long been in name. Want to Read saving…. France achieved national unity much later than is commonly supposed. In one interesting passage, Weber recounts how it took generations to convince the French masses to use the metric system, with measurement in the public sphere distances, say, and commerce succumbing more quickly than measurements relating to one’s person.

Although other historians such as Henri Mendras had put frenchhmen similar theories about the modernization of the French countryside, Weber’s book was amongst the first to focus on changes in the period between and InWeber married Jacqueline Brument-Roth. Keeping Up with Yesterday. The result was the wholesale transformation of the population from “peasants,” basically ignorant of the wider nation, to Frenchmen.

His 1,page Modern History of Europe: Had Pexsants more time to read this book, I could appreciate his ability to do so! Give Us This Day.

Wring Out the Old. The first section of this book is a completely brilliant survey of sources showing French rural life pre These included the judicial and school systems, the army, the church, railways, roads, and a market economy.

The Modernization of Rural France, —