Synopses & Reviews
This book tells the story of France's remarkable transformation in the 1940s and 1950s through exhaustive study of the role of youth and youth culture in France's rejuvenation and cultural reconstruction in the aftermath of war, occupation, and collaboration. Examining everything from Brigitte Bardot and New Wave film to Tarzan and comic books, from juvenile delinquents and managerial technocrats to soldiers and 1968 protesters, from popular culture to politics, the author makes a fascinating case for reconsidering the significance and meaning of youth in postwar France. Riding the New Wave
advances a new methodological approach by considering age as a category of historical analysis comparable to, and in tandem with, race, class, and gender. This history reveals youth to be a central feature in France's recovery from the Second World War while also clarifying the international significance of youth in the tumultuous 1960s.
"Structured around the dichotomy of good and bad youth, this study is well adapted to the dominant discourses of the first decade or so after the war."Times Literary Supplement
"This is an important and original study not merely in its analyses of multiple ways in which youth figured in the history of this period, but also in its argument that age categories represent an important tool of social analysis. The research is remarkably extensive, and ranges over a dazzling array of activity."CHOICE
"Jobs's book succeeds on two fronts: arguing that youth is a category in need of prodding and analysis, and reframing the cultural history of postwar France against the discursive background of young versus old. It is especially relevant as a work of cultural history and the analysis of cultural products are first-rate."Nicole Rudolph, Adelphi Universi
"Riding the New Wave is a path-breaking book that deserves to become a staple in everyone's reading about postwar France. The research is thorough and imaginatively pursued in a great variety of archival and printed primary sources, offering a fresh perspective on France in the postwar years. The prose is engaging and precise. There is nothing like it in the scholarly literature."--Herrick Chapman, New York University
"This is an engaging, serious, and important book, based upon very impressive scholarship. Jobs analysis is anchored in a serious grasp of post-1945 politics and makes a compelling case."--William D. Irvine, York University
This history reveals youth, both as a concept and as a social group, to be a primary factor in France's postwar rejuvenation and cultural reconstruction in the wake of the Second World War.
About the Author
Richard Ivan Jobs is Assistant Professor of History at Pacific University.