Synopses & Reviews
"Shows that sport has been for us moderns the ultimate tabula rasa
into which we pour our hopes, fears, prejudices and self-interest."and#151;Robert A. Nye, author of Crime, Madness, and Politics in Modern France
and Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France
"A true gem of a book. A terrific scholar and an engaging writer."and#151;Dean MacCannell, author of The Tourist and Empty Meeting Grounds
"A major new interpretation of France's most famous sporting event. For the first time the Tour de France has been fully and carefully placed within the wider context of French history."and#151;Richard Holt, author of Sport and Society in Modern France and Sport and the British
"Chris Thompson has written an engaging, nicely-paced account of France's world-famous cycle race: his writing is lively and full of detail and excitement. But he has done much more than simply narrate the story of the Tour. His book sets the raceand#151;its history, its participants and its meaningand#151;firmly in its shifting national and cultural contexts. The sections dealing with professional cycling as a form of labor and with the Tour's place in France's troubled twentieth century are absolutely first-rate: insightful and original. This is the best history of the Tour that we have and are likely to have for many years, a work of scholarship that deserves to find a broad general readership."and#151;Tony Judt, author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
and#8220;Pitte, a specialist in wine geographies, relates a long and fierce oenophile war in this charming history.and#8221;
and#8220;Full of fascinating digressions into the history of the wines, the areas, and the people.and#8221;
and#8220;Whatever you may know about these two great wine regions, youand#8217;ll learn something new.and#8221;
and#8220;History buffs will especially savor Pitteand#8217;s extensive report on Franceand#8217;s most legendary wine regions.and#8221;
and#8220;There are several books to tell you who first won the yellow jersey or the identity of the youngest post-war winner of the Tour de France, the kind you might receive as a gift. This is sort of book youand#8217;d buy for yourself.and#8221;
and#8220;This book is filled fascinating material. . . . Thompson has made a great deal of sense out of this complicated story.and#8221;
and#8220;A comprehensive history of France from the raceand#8217;s inception, long before Greg LeMond or Lance Armstrong were born.and#8221;
For centuries, wine has been associated with France more than with any other country. France remains one of the world s leading wine producers by volume and enjoys unrivaled cultural recognition for its wine. If any wine regions are global household names, they are French regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Within the wine world, products from French regions are still benchmarks for many wines.
French Wine is the first synthetic history of wine in France: from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman imports and the adoption of wine by beer-drinking Gauls to its present status within the global marketplace. Rod Phillips places the history of grape growing and winemaking in each of the country s major regions within broad historical and cultural contexts.
Examining a range of influences on the wine industry, wine trade, and wine itself, the book explores religion, economics, politics, revolution, and war, as well as climate and vine diseases. French Wine is the essential reference on French wine for collectors, consumers, sommeliers, and industry professionals."
"A fascinating book that belongs on every wine lover's bookshelf."--The Wine Economist "It's a book to read for its unstoppable torrent of fascinating and often surprising details."--Andrew Jefford, Decanter
For centuries, wine has been associated with France more than with any other country. France remains one of the world's leading wine producers by volume and enjoys unrivaled cultural recognition for its wine. If any wine regions are global household names, they are French regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Within the wine world, products from French regions are still benchmarks for many wines.
French Wine is the first synthetic history of wine in France: from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman imports and the adoption of wine by beer-drinking Gauls to its present status within the global marketplace. Rod Phillips places the history of grape growing and winemaking in each of the country's major regions within broad historical and cultural contexts.
Examining a range of influences on the wine industry, wine trade, and wine itself, the book explores religion, economics, politics, revolution, and war, as well as climate and vine diseases. French Wine is the essential reference on French wine for collectors, consumers, sommeliers, and industry professionals.
Seeking to penetrate the mysteries of two great wine regionsand#151;"two opposite civilizations, two distinct ways of feeling"and#151;Jean-Robert Pitte embarks upon an evocative and fascinating exploration of the land, people, and wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. His account is a rich tapestry of terroir, history, culture, and economics from Roman to modern times. The unique qualities of the wines of each region, Pitte believes, cannot be entirely explained by the differences in their physical environments: they have social origins as well. Beginning with an entertaining look at the remarkable variety of insults exchanged by partisans of the two regions, Pitte delves into the key role played by medieval monks, dukes, and peasant vignerons in building their respective reputations and in creating the rivalry between bourgeois Bordeaux and earthy Burgundy that we know today. His sparkling, fair-minded narrative, engaging the senses and the mind alike, conveys a deep appreciation of two incomparable winegrowing cultures, united despite their differences by a common ambition to produce the best wines in the world.
"A fascinating social history of the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy from their origins to the present day: their contrasts and rivalries, their advocates and their detractors. This will entertain all lovers of the wines of the two greatest regions in the world."and#151;Clive Coates, MW, author of The Wines of Bordeaux
"Anyone who thinks they are only grape-varieties apart must read this. It brilliantly evokes two cultures as different as...Bordeaux and Burgundy."and#151;Hugh Johnson, author of The World Atlas of Wine
"A mouthwatering journey in search of tastes and flavors. . . . A striking synthesis of remarkable horizons."and#151;Le Monde
"A well documented book delivered in an earthy style, to be read without moderation, whether you prefer Bordeaux or Burgundy."and#151;Alternatives and#233;conomiques
In this highly original history of the worldand#8217;s most famous bicycle race, Christopher S. Thompson, mining previously neglected sources and writing with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, tells the compelling story of the Tour de France from its creation in 1903 to the present. Weaving the words of racers, politicians, Tour organizers, and a host of other commentators together with a wide-ranging analysis of the culture surrounding the eventand#151;including posters, songs, novels, films, and media coverageand#151;Thompson links the history of the Tour to key moments and themes in French history. He argues persuasively that this hugely popular sporting event has been instrumental in French attempts to grapple with the great challenges they have confronted during their tumultuous twentieth centuryand#151;from World Wars, political divisions, and class conflict to economic modernization, womenand#8217;s emancipation, and threats to public health. Examining the enduring popularity of Tour racers, Thompson explores how their public images have changed over the past century. He concludes with a discussion of the longstanding practice of doping and considers the complex case of the seven-time champion Lance Armstrong.
About the Author
Jean-Robert Pitte is professor of geography and president of the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne. He is the author or editor of twelve previous books, including French Gastronomy and History of the French Landscape.
Table of Contents
1. La Grande Boucle: Cycling, Progress, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century France
2. Itineraries, Narratives, and Identities in Twentieth-Century France
3. The Gand#233;ants de la Route: Gender and Heroism in Twentieth-Century France
4. Land#8217;Autoand#8217;s Ouvriers de la Pand#233;dale: Work, Class, and the Tour de France, 1903and#150;1939
5. The Forand#231;ats de la Route: Exploits, Exploitation, and the Politics of Athletic Excess, 1903and#150;1939
6. What Price Heroism? Work, Sport, and Drugs in Postwar France
Appendix: Racersand#8217; Occupations