Conscripts and Deserters
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Conscripts and Deserters : The Army and French Society During the Revolution and Empire

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Between the outbreak of war with Austria in 1792 and Napoleon's final debacle in 1814, France remained almost continously at war, recruiting in the process some two to three million frenchmen--a level of recruitment unknown to previous generations and widely resented as an attack on the liberties of rural communities. Forrest challenges the notion of a nation heroically rushing to arms by examining the massive rates of desertion and avoidance of service as well as their consequences on French society--on military campaigns and the morale of armies, on political opinion at home, on the social fabric of local villages, and on the Napoleonic dream of bringing about a coherent and centralized state.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 160 x 235.7 x 25.1mm | 639.58g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0195059379
  • 9780195059373
  • 2,043,594

Review quote

'fascinating and important book ... Forrest constructs an admirably large canvas, combining broad strokes with a pointillism that reflects his sensitivity to individual human beings in concrete social environments ... Forrest has achieved a commendably balanced and suggestive synthesis' Isser Woloch, Columbia University, Journal of Modern History, Volume 64, Number 2, June 1992 `a wealth of vivid particular incident which admirably conveys the strength of popular feeling against conscription, the misery which was so often the lot of conscripts and deserters alike, the brutality with which conscription was enforced and the resistance to it suppressed ... immensely readable. History 'splendid book ... Life in the maquis, is brilliantly evoked' Times LIterary Supplementshow more

About Alan Forrest

Author of two books on the French Revolutionshow more

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