Cover: From Appomattox to Montmartre in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 131

From Appomattox to Montmartre

Americans and the Paris Commune

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Product Details


$81.50 • £65.95 • €73.50

ISBN 9780674323483

Publication Date: 12/01/1998


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

1 line illustration

Harvard Historical Studies


From Appomattox to Montmartre is well worth reading. It takes a significant step towards de-exceptionalizing U.S. history, both by situating it in an international context and by addressing just how exceptional nineteenth-century Americans (especially bourgeois Americans) considered themselves.—Kristin Hoganson, Left History

Katz, who has done a careful and extremely detailed study of the Americanization of the meanings of the Commune, is to be applauded for his originality; analyzing the interpolation of overseas events into American politics is a relatively unexplored and worthwhile avenue… Katz shows how complex events are sorted out over time, how verbal brickbats are constructed, and how Americans are eternally reluctant to see class war as internal to their own exceptionalist history.—Michael Fellman, Civil War History

Katz’s idea—that American interpretations of the Commune reflected confusion about the nation’s postwar national role—is exciting… From Appomattox to Montmartre is a welcome resurrection of the nineteenth-century American obsession with the Paris Commune.—Heather Cox Richardson, Journal of American History

From Appomattox to Montmartre is one of the most stimulating and innovative studies of post–Civil War America to appear in recent years. Philip Katz shows how various individuals and interest groups in the United States used the Paris Commune as a window through which to view the promises and perils of America and as a mirror to reflect American class and labor relations. New insights into the politics and culture of the Gilded Age abound in this readable, exciting book.—James M. McPherson, Princeton University

Katz’s book is highly interesting for many reasons. For one, it says quite a lot that is wholly new about both French and American political history. The stories of Empress Eugénie’s dentist, Ambassador Washburne’s memoirs, and Cluseret’s stay in America are well known, but before I read this book, I did not realize how extensive and sustained was the involvement of Americans in the Paris Commune. I was intrigued also by Professor Katz’s presentation of American reactions to French events: because the Commune was both an anti-centralist statement and a revolutionary movement, it elicited dramatically contradictory responses; and it is startling to learn that some ex-Confederates had positive things to say about a social movement whose libertarian relevance to the cause of their worst enemies was also obvious. This is an informative book, well and clearly written.—Patrice Higonnet, Harvard University

What Katz has done is quite remarkable… His study surpasses previous work by the breadth and depth of his research… He displays considerable analytical powers in evaluating his materials, demonstrating how diverse groups responded to what he terms ‘an ideological jumble.’… The most substantial study yet written on the Paris Commune and the United States… Katz has made a contribution to social, cultural, and intellectual history.—James A. Rawley, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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