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The American Historical Review described the first edition as ' a tour de force; there is no equivalent work in English or French that covers the history of France during the last fifty years with such depth and originality'. The Journal of Modern History found it, 'unusually readable, the work of a literate and witty scholar with easy control of a huge body of material'. In this new edition, Professor Larkin extends his analysis of French history since the Depression to 1996. He examines the factors that have shaped the evolution of French social, economic, and political life, from the short-lived ministries of the Third and Fourth Republics to the greater stability of the Fifth Republic. In addition to his lively portrayals of the principal figures and events of the period, Professor Larkin puts France in its broad international context, comparing the country's economic performance and social record with those of its European neighbours. 'The first textbook to cover its period in one volume...An enormous amount of material is presented with clarity and elegance...a volume which cannot fail to become a standard textbook.'
English Historical Review 'a superb contribution to the literature on contemporary France' Journal of Social History 'A remarkable achievement based on massive research and usefully illustrated with tables and other statistical details...This will undoubtedly become an important reference for all those working in the field...' Modern and Contemporary France 'lively and often amusing narrative...Larkin's concern is with "the interaction of people, government and material change"...This interaction is set most illuminatingly in its comparative context, with much useful statistical data.' Times Higher Education Supplement.