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Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars


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Publisher Comments:

Americans often look back on Paris between the world wars as a charming escape from the enduring inequalities and reactionary politics of the United States. In this bold and original study, Brooke Blower shows that nothing could be further from the truth. She reveals the breadth of American activities in the capital, the lessons visitors drew from their stay, and the passionate responses they elicited from others. For many sojourners-not just for the most famous expatriate artists and writers- Paris served as an important crossroads, a place where Americans reimagined their position in the world and grappled with what it meant to be American in the new century, even as they came up against conflicting interpretations of American power by others.

Interwar Paris may have been a capital of the arts, notorious for its pleasures, but it was also smoldering with radical and reactionary plots, suffused with noise, filth, and chaos, teeming with immigrants and refugees, communist rioters, fascism admirers, overzealous police, and obnoxious tourists. Sketching Americans' place in this evocative landscape, Blower shows how arrivals were drawn into the capital's battles, both wittingly and unwittingly. Americans in Paris found themselves on the front lines of an emerging culture of political engagements-a transatlantic matrix of causes and connections, which encompassed debates about "Americanization" and "anti-American" protests during the Sacco-Vanzetti affair as well as a host of other international incidents. Blower carefully depicts how these controversies and a backdrop of polarized European politics honed Americans' political stances and sense of national distinctiveness.

A model of urban, transnational history, Becoming Americans in Paris offers a nuanced portrait of how Americans helped to shape the cultural politics of interwar Paris, and, at the same time, how Paris helped to shape modern American political culture.

About the Author

Brooke L. Blower is Assistant Professor of History at Boston University.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Age of World Wars

Part I: The Specter of Americanization

Chapter 1: Triumphant Arrivals

Chapter 2: Reluctant Hosts

Part II: Parisian Cultural Politics

Chapter 3: The Sacco-Vanzetti Riots

Chapter 4: Prefect Chiappe's Purging of Paris

Part III: American Political Culture

Chapter 5: Legionnaires on Parade

Chapter 6: The Expatriates Reconsidered

Epilogue: The Beginning of American Innocence




Product Details

Blower, Brooke Lindy
Oxford University Press, USA
Brooke L. Blower
null, Brooke L.
United States - 20th Century
History, American | 1900-1945
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
24 halftones
6.5 x 9.4 x 1.2 in 1.356 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Military » World War I
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars New Hardcover
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Product details 368 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199737819 Reviews:
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