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The human cost of World War I cannot be understood only in terms of demographics. To better understand the consequences of the war upon both soldiers and civilians it is necessary to consider mourning in its private, as well as its public dimensions. Indeed, for many French people who lived through the war, public spectacles of bereavement, such as the Unknown Soldier, were also conceived of as intensely private affairs. Both types of mourning are associated with a wide variety of rituals and procedures.
This course covers the emergence of modern France. Topics include the social, economic, and political transformation of France; the impact of France's revolutionary heritage, of industrialization, and of the dislocation wrought by two world wars; and the political response of the Left and the Right to changing French society.