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The Mobilization of Intellect

The Mobilization of Intellect

French Scholars and Writers during the Great War

Martha Hanna

ISBN 9780674577558

Publication date: 05/01/1996

Behind the façade of unity, the French intelligentsia was riven by the same fundamental divisions that had characterized it before the war. For example, the Republican Left argued that German nationalism and militarism began after Kant, with Fichte or Hegel, while the Catholic and nationalistic reactionary Right denounced Kant as the evil inspiration of France's liberal democracy and public school system. The heated rhetoric of the war and the unbearable loss of young lives, says Hanna, lent weight to a redefinition of French culture in national terms—and this, ironically, ended in the cultural conservatism of Vichy France.

This is the first study of the power of French pens and words during and after the Great War. It is a contribution to French and European history as well as to intellectual history.


  • [An] important and absorbing book...Readers, including those familiar with [the] themes [discussed here], will value the clarity, perception and sympathy which characterize Martha Hanna's treatment of them. But the main appeal of The Mobilization of Intellect lies in its human detail of how individuals and institutions, with all their strengths and eccentricities, responded to the conflict of loyalties that the war provoked.

    —Maurice Larkin, Times Literary Supplement


  • Martha Hanna is Professor of History, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Book Details

  • 286 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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