Monday, 7 August 2017

The Unfree French

Finished August 3
The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation by Richard Vinen

This heavily researched book looks at the lives of the people who lived in occupied France during the Second World War. The book is organized roughly in the order in which things happen, with the first chapter about the summer of 1940 and the last chapter about the liberation. There are also some experiences grouped by type here. Chapters are given over to the prisoners of war, the French who were in Germany, women, Jews, and the youth forced to work for the Germans.
While there were descriptions of individuals here, they were not gone into in depth, and I found the book gave a very good accounting of what was going on with different groups, and at different times, and in different areas, but this is not a piece of narrative nonfiction, giving us a connection to the people that lived under German control, which is what I was hoping for when I bought this book.
I learned a lot and I found the book very informative, but a tad dry. It was more academic than I expected.

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