France's drift into war and subsequent collapse often have been attributed to her level of confidence. Either she had too much, or too little. This work contends that these two moods were not mutually exclusive, that they coexisted throughout the interwar years, sustained by competing visions of the Republic and of the best way to ensure national security. Early chapters describe the tensions within French interwar foreign policy, as well as the ensuing historiographical tensions among scholars intent on interpreting the French experience. Subsequent chapters explore tensions in defence and economic policies, domestic politics and ideological allegiance, public attitudes and opinion.
ROBERT J. YOUNG is Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg where he has taught history since 1968. He is the author of several books, including Power and Pleasure, Louis Barthou and the Third French Republic, and as editor, French Foreign Policy, 1918-1945: A Guide to Research and Research Materials.