Vaincus ! Histoire de défaites, Europe XIXe-XXIe siècles

miparcoursaxe5Corine DEFRANCE, Catherine HOREL, François-Xavier Nérard eds., Vaincus ! Histoire de défaites, Europe XIXe-XXIe siècles, Paris, Nouveau Monde, Collection “LabEx EHNE,” 2016.

The evident disorder of our time has proven disconcerting in a Europe that is currently experiencing crisis—but has this not often been the case over the preceding centuries?

The aspiration of the collection Pour une histoire nouvelle de l’Europe is to better understand our past in order to better imagine our future.

Its original academic approach uses renewed perspectives to grasp Europe from the 18th to the 21st centuries as a whole, moving beyond the national entities of which it consists toward the cluster of global relations in which it is involved. For example, it explores the role of defeats, technological transitions, major artistic movements and their successive reinterpretations, ideologies, and different interpretations of history by European historians themselves.

This collection is the work of historians with multiple approaches blending the fields of politics, culture, gender, etc., in order to propose a renewed understanding of our continent’s history.

“The victors write History,” it has often been asserted. But what of the vanquished? Is defeat truly without histories?

From the Napoleonic wars to the Cold War, Europe during the last two centuries has been a continent torn by wars that have continually redefined both the victors and the vanquished.

Although for a long time only military historians attempted to understand defeat, it has now moved beyond the battlefield to examine and question national narratives. With its heroes, martyrs, exiles, and traitors, it is an arresting history, and has become a place for experiences and memories.

Defeat is now getting its revenge.

Table of contents :

  • Introduction
    Realities, perceptions and uses of defeat in Europe. Corine Defrance and Catherine Horel
  • Defeat averted
    – Toulon, November 27, 1942. A simple defeat or more than a defeat? Thomas Vaisset and Philippe Vial
    – “We do not surrender,” or defeat as final victory (Berlin, 1945). Johann Chapoutot
    – The impossible defeat. The USSR at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1943). François-Xavier Nérard
  • Defeat reinterpreted
    – Alexander I, victor over Napoleon? Marie-Pierre Rey
    – Navarin, October 20, 1827. The paradoxes of a defeat without war. Anne Couderc and Nikos Sigalas
    – The shadow of history? The defeat of Leipzig. Bettina Severin-Barboutie
    – Victorious defeats? Giving meaning to the collapse of the Third Reich in Germany, from World War Two to the fall of the Wall. Jörg Echternkamp
  • The sedimentation of defeat
    – The defeat of the Serbs of Kosovo Polje (1389). Constructions and uses of myth since the 19th century. Ivan Čolović
    – Italian defeats: History of a national anti-myth. Marco Mondini
    – The Treaty of Trianon, June 4, 1920, or the mourning of the Hungarian nation. Catherine Horel
    – The Munich Agreement, 1938. The ambivalent role of defeats. Antoine Marès
  • Defeat Magnified
    – The “Winter War” or the sublimation of a defeat (November 1939-March 1940). Maurice Carrez
    – In the Shadow of the Sun of Austerlitz. The Austro-Russian defeat and the limits of decisive victory. Aurélien Lignereux
    – Alésia, paradoxical defeat. Jean-Louis Brunaux
  • Conclusion
    The time of defeats. Mathieu Jestin and François-Xavier Nérard