Sunday, May 10, 2009

Five best books about Germany's occupation of France

Frederic Spotts, author of The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Occupation, named a five best list of books about France under Nazi Occupation for the Wall Street Journal.

One book on his list:
by Ian Ousby
St. Martin's Press, 1997

Nothing can be more degrading for a nation than to be occupied. In the case of France, the German Occupation even extended to the ancient practice of hauling people off to be slaves -- in this case as forced laborers in German factories. Ian Ousby's "Occupation" is an outstanding introduction to this horrible-fascinating subject. The author's apparent disqualifications -- not a historian and not a scholar of French history -- are the very qualities that make him an excellent guide for the general reader who knows nothing about the subject and wants lucid answers to the simple questions: What really happened, what was heroic, what was shameful, and in what proportions did they flourish in the same soil and why?
Read about the other four books on Spotts' list.

--Marshal Zeringue