Cover: The Battle for Children: World War II, Youth Crime, and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century France, from Harvard University PressCover: The Battle for Children in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 142

The Battle for Children

World War II, Youth Crime, and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century France

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Product Details


$89.00 • £71.95 • €80.00

ISBN 9780674007550

Publication Date: 07/09/2002


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 line illustration, 1 table

Harvard Historical Studies


Loaded with numerous examples and a clear use of language, this book is an asset to research on juvenile courts and related political, social and expert views.—Ingrid Van Der Bij, The European Legacy

Fishman makes a praiseworthy contribution to the growing body of Foucault-influenced scholarship on criminality in this study of the transformation of the juvenile justice system in 1940s France. She argues that the rise in juvenile crime during the Occupation, which contemporaries attributed to the absence of POW fathers, was in reality the result of economic privation and the rise of a generalized defiance of authority symbolized by the black market and the Resistance… A rare work of historical scholarship with clear contemporary relevance.—D. A. Harvey, Choice

Makes a contribution to a little-known aspect of Vichy social policy and to the longer-term history of juvenile criminal justice and treatment in France. Sarah Fishman’s study is based on important archival work; the materials on internal Vichy debates are exceptionally rich and intelligently utilized. Her prose is absolutely first-rate.—Robert A. Nye, Oregon State University

Sarah Fishman approaches the subject of juvenile justice in France with admirable breadth, bringing to bear simultaneously a close study of politics, legal texts and institutions, professional interests, intellectual positions, and cultural values. Without minimizing Vichy’s ugly aspects, she has emphasized the regime’s capacity to mobilize experts and push through changes that turn out to be durable. Her conclusions give a significant new nuance to studies of France under the Vichy regime.—Robert O. Paxton, Columbia University

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