December 7, 2007
'Turning on the Mind: French Philosophers on Television'
What do haute couture and existentialism have in common? Both, says Tamara Chaplin, were prestige exports for a France in postwar shambles. After Allied liberation, the French were glad of products that brought international notice. Yet they also looked inward, writes the scholar, who teaches modern European history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Eager to fashion themselves as a "nation of resisters," the French also turned to culture, she says, to regenerate a