Rural Inventions

Rural Inventions

"In post-World War II France, commitment to cutting-edge technological modernization and explosive economic growth uprooted rural populations and eroded the village traditions of a largely peasant nation. And yet, this book argues, rural France did not vanish in the sweeping transformations of the 1950s and 1960s. The attachment of the French to rural ways and the agricultural past became a widely-shared preoccupation in the 1970s; this, in turn, became an engine of change in its own right. Though the French countryside is often imagined as stable and enduring, this book presents it as a site not just of decline and loss but also of change and adaptation. Rural Inventions explores the rise of restored peasant houses as second residences; utopian experiments in rural communes and in going back to the land; environmentalism; the literary success of peasant autobiographies; photography; and other representations through which the French revalorized rural life and landscapes. The peasantry as a social class may have died out, but the countryside persisted, valued as a site not only for agriculture but increasingly for sport and leisure, tourism, and social and political engagement; a place to dwell part-time as well as full-time; and a natural environment worth protecting. The postwar French state and the nation's rural and urban inhabitants remade the French countryside in relation to the city and to the world at large, not only invoking traditional France but also creating a vibrant and evolving part of the France yet to come"--

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Author
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date
ISBN 019007907X
Pages 189 pages
Rating 4/5 (79 users)

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