The French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II was a struggle in which ordinary people fought for their liberty, despite terrible odds and horrifying repression. Hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen and women carried out an armed struggle against the Nazis, producing underground anti-fascist publications and supplying the Allies with vital intelligence. Based on hundreds of French eye-witness accounts and including recently-released archival material, The Resistanceuses dramatic personal stories to take the reader on one of the great adventures of the 20thcentury.
The tale begins with the catastrophic Fall of France in 1940, and shatters the myth of a unified Resistance created by General de Gaulle. In fact, De Gaulle never understood the Resistance, and sought to use, dominate and channel it to his own ends. Brave men and women set up organisations, only to be betrayed or hunted down by the Nazis, and to die in front of the firing squad or in the concentration camps. Over time, the true story of the Resistance got blurred and distorted, its heroes and conflicts were forgotten as the movement became a myth.
By turns exciting, tragic and insightful, The Resistancereveals how one of the most powerful modern myths came to be forged and provides a gripping account of one of the most striking events in the 20thcentury.
MATTHEW COBB is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. He has translated five books from French into English, and spent most of his adult life as a researcher in Paris, before returning to the UK in 2002.
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