French Intellectuals at a Crossroads, 1918-1939


Conner, Tom, Ph.D.


Tom Conner is Professor of Modern Language and Literatures at St. Norbert College, in De Pere, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. at Yale University and also studied at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, and at the Sorbonne and École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He has taught French at St. Norbert College for the past 5 years, as well as at Miami University of Ohio, Yale, Nihon University in Japan, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and at the Johns Hopkins University Center for International studies at Nanjing University, in China. He has published five previous books, including The Dreyfus Affair and the Emergence of the French Intellectual, 1898-1914. He and his wife Ikuko live in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Tokyo.

French Intellectuals at a Crossroads examines a broad array of interrelated subjects: the effect of World War I on France’s intellectual community, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of international communism, calls for pacifism, the creation of an “Intellectuals’ International of the Mind,” the debate over the myth of the disengaged intellectual, the apolitical group of “intellectuels non-conformistes,” and, finally, the challenges of surrealism. Together, these developments reflected the diversity of intellectual commitment in France in the uncertain and troubled 1920s and 1930s. The interwar period also witnessed France’s relative decline, as expressed in a move from a mood of immense relief coupled with a feeling of debilitating fatigue to an inward-looking, pessimistic, and defeatist outlook that presaged World War II and national collapse.

History, Philosophy, Social Science, Sociology, France, European History, Intellectual History, Public Intellectuals, Twentieth-Century Europe, World War I, World War II, Communism, Surrealism
Release Date: 
July 1, 2022
9781680536867 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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