Cover: To the Maginot Line: The Politics of French Military Preparation in the 1920’s, from Harvard University PressCover: To the Maginot Line in PAPERBACK

Harvard Historical Monographs 64

To the Maginot Line

The Politics of French Military Preparation in the 1920’s

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$26.00 • £20.95 • €23.50

ISBN 9780674023864

Publication Date: 09/30/2006


[A] stimulating and excellently documented book… Individual personalities are particularly well handled. Foch and Pétain, Poincaré and Blum—all emerge with veritable life in them. The trends of French interwar history are deftly carried through onto these pages with an unobtrusive lucidity and persuasiveness.—Michael Hurst, American Historical Review

Dr. Judith Hughes has devised a modest title for her very wide sweep of interbellum French military history. Not content with penetrating analyses of the post war ‘population problem,’ the intricacies of politico–military relations, the unfolding formulation of strategic–tactical concepts in light of 1914–1918, the intermeshing of foreign and military policy, and, on title-target, the political alignments in legislating army reform and frontier organization (Maginot Line), Dr. Hughes offers an epilogue on the implication of the 1920s for the 1930s and even for May–June 1940. If at times Dr. Hughes covers familiar ground, she does so with the same thoroughness and perception she exhibits in more ‘original’ sections of this well-researched book.—Donald J. Harvey, Military Affairs

[An] admirable little monograph… [Hughes] has demonstrated what can be done to overcome obstacles of official secrecy through resourcefulness in collecting evidence and ingenuity in interpretation. Moreover, instead of working backward from 1940, seeking causes and culprits of collapse in the 1930s, Ms. Hughes has wisely chosen to begin in 1918 and to focus upon the 1920s. This chronology has given her a fresher perspective and a wider scope for sympathy than other commentators of the period. It is the great merit of this book that it passes judgments with compassion and restraint. Indeed, Professor Hughes insists upon viewing French military policy in the broadest possible context of international developments, domestic politics, economic problems, and intellectual moods; from these elements, she weaves a dilemma of tragic dimensions in which the confusions and mistakes of individuals are reviewed with kindness and realism.—Charles C. Bright, Political Science Quarterly

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