Defeated Flesh: Medicine, Welfare, and Warfare in the Making of Modern France

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1999 - History - 292 pages
Defeated Flesh is a compelling study of the French defeat of 1870 and the socialist uprising of the Commune of Paris, a crucial turning point in the making of modern France. By examining the history of the body and medicine, Taithe shows how the French mobilized for the war effort and how their ultimate defeat had devastating cultural and social consequences that led to the fin de si_cle spirit. Reinterpreting the siege of Paris, the physical suffering caused by the war, and rationing in an exceptionally harsh period of French history, the author challenges current debates on citizenship, centralism, and modern warfare. TaitheOs original approach and the wide range of previously untouched source material he draws upon cast a new light on the social aspirations behind the worldOs first socialist uprising and on the fears of national decline so common in Western Europe before 1914. This intriguing and highly original study will be of interest to all readers of French history and of European and French culture, as well as to specialists on the history of war and medicine.
 

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Contents

Memories of war 187071
1
Meanings attributed to the war
4
Defeated flesh
18
The FrancoPrussian war revolution and Commune an overview
25
The origin debates
26
Immediate causes of the war
29
The war and defeat
30
Politics and the Commune
40
Towards secular medicine
132
Doctors against the Commune
141
The agony of the Commune
146
Conclusion
150
The dynamics of humanitarianism and the making of the Red Cross
155
Humanitarianism
157
Official movements
164
Voluntary movements
170

Conclusion
43
The politics of social practice medicine war and revolution in Paris
46
French medicine in 1870
48
Health in Paris in 1870
53
Revolution and medicine
61
Militarisation and war effort Paris the giant hospital
71
Military medicine
75
The giant hospital
83
Discipline and space
89
Postwar
96
The politics of care and order
99
To free Paris
101
To feed Paris
106
The politics of food
114
The politics of care
121
Revolutionary society and medicine
130
Ideology
174
Conclusion
177
Defeat embodied the severed limbs of the nation
180
Bodyloss
181
Outliving war
193
Conclusion
206
Seeds of defeat alcohol and syphilis
208
From the cabaret to the grave
210
Syphilis
217
Shifting regulation
222
Symbolic regulation and prohibition
227
Conclusion
229
Conclusion war stories
233
Bibliography
241
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Bertrand Taithe is senior lecturer in Cultural History the University of Manchester.

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