A History of France, written by Jean-Michel Dequeker-Fergon, professor of history at Science Po Paris and in preparatory classes, is published by Le Pérégrinateur in October. A useful reminder of the difference between History and the novel.
Any history of France is a construction. Endlessly repeated, the great national narrative is as much a dramaturgy as it is a mythology. It often says more about the unfolding history than it reveals the truth of past events. The author has no other ambition than to offer, in a single volume, a History of France which, beyond the necessary account of the vicissitudes of the construction of the Nation State over the centuries, also intends to leave room to major social and economic developments. It is aimed at all those who, high school students, students, citizens, simple curious or passionate amateurs, wish to familiarize themselves with a History as long as it is rich, woven of glorious pages and dark moments, kneaded by the life and death of million men and
of women gathered in the same crucible.
This book is a History, not a novel. Whatever some nostalgic people think, the great national epic forged by the Third Republic in order to entrench among schoolchildren the love of the regime and the country can no longer be appropriate, except by believing in the educational virtues of propaganda or to revel in a cautious identity withdrawal.
A History of France, by Jean-Michel Dequeker-Fergon. Editions Le Pérégrinateur, October 2016.