Jackie’s French Connection
Jacqueline Kennedy, with her French ancestry and command of the language, was a not-so-secret American weapon in US-France relations in the early 1960s.
The Short-Lived Le Navire d’Argent
Despite its short run, Adrienne Monnier’s literary review made its mark on modernist literature, publishing the work of James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Walt Whitman.
Christian Dior vs. Christian Dior
The designer’s impulse to convey his two selves to the public stemmed from a desire to be seen as genuine artist working in a world of artifice.
The Algerian War: Cause Célèbre of Anticolonialism
On July 5, 1962, Algeria declared its independence after 132 years of French occupation. The transition was chaotic and violent, but inspired revolutionaries worldwide.
OK Recruiter: The Legion is Coming
Anxieties over the abduction of young men into the French Foreign Legion after WWII reflected West Germany’s concerns about the state of their nation.
The Cabarets of Heaven and Hell
In 1890s Paris, cabarets in bohemian Montmartre gave visitors a chance to tour the afterlife.
The “Stone Face” of Racism
On October 17, 1961, Parisian police attacked a group of Algerians. The event would be lost to French history until a Nazi collaborator was exposed.
The Mathematical Pranksters behind Nicolas Bourbaki
Bourbaki was gnomic and mythical, impossible to pin down; his mathematics just the opposite: unified, unambiguous, free of human idiosyncrasy.
Jacobin Hating, American Style
The most radical faction of the French Revolution was hated by everyone in the United States from reactionaries to abolitionists.
Bringing France Back into American History
The current arrangement of nation-states in North America has made the role of the French in colonial history seem less important.