History, Reviews

Review: Nora, Rethinking France

jacket imageRethinking France: Les Lieux de Mémoire: Volume Two: Space, edited by Pierre Nora, is Chicago’s second volume in a monumental project to capture the essence of French history and culture. As noted in a recent review in Choice magazine, in this volume Nora has collected essays by France’s leading academics that concentrate on the space, or spaces of France in terms of “the interplay between places, events, and people’s memories of them.” The analyses focus on three aspects of natural boundaries: the forest, the north and the south, and the coastline. Each region of France, they show, is a space of memory that is the fruit of all the knowledge that gives it shape: statistical, cartographical, geological, and historical.
This volume, the Choice reviewer writes, “is yet another brain-stretching and assumption-challenging set of ideas from the Nora project, presented in a lavishly produced, beautifully illustrated, well referenced volume.”
Rethinking France will be appreciated by any critical thinker with an interest in French history, politics, culture, or philosophy.