• The Radiance Of France

The Radiance Of France

The Radiance Of France

( from 245 reviews )
  • Author
    Gabrielle Hecht
  • Publisher
    Mit Press
  • Publication date
    31 July 2009

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Book Description

How it happened that technological prowess and national glory (or “radiance,” which also means “radiation” in French) became synonymous in France as nowhere else.

In the aftermath of World War II, as France sought a distinctive role for itself in the modern, postcolonial world, the nation and its leaders enthusiastically embraced large technological projects in general and nuclear power in particular. The Radiance of France asks how it happened that technological prowess and national glory (or “radiance,” which also means “radiation” in French) became synonymous in France as nowhere else.

To answer this question, Gabrielle Hecht has forged an innovative combination of technology studies and cultural and political history in a book that, as Michel Callon writes in the new foreword to this edition, “not only sheds new light on the role of technology in the construction of national identities” but is also “a seminal contribution to the history of contemporary France.” Proposing the concept of technopolitical regime as a way to analyze the social, political, cultural, and technological dynamics among engineering elites, unionized workers, and rural communities, Hecht shows how the history of France's first generation of nuclear reactors is also a history of the multiple meanings of nationalism, from the postwar period (and France's desire for post-Vichy redemption) to 1969 and the adoption of a “Frenchified” American design.

This paperback edition of Hecht's groundbreaking book includes both Callon's foreword and an afterword by the author in which she brings the story up to date, and reflects on such recent developments as the 2007 French presidential election, the promotion of nuclear power as the solution to climate change, and France's aggressive exporting of nuclear technology.

Book Detail

  • Book Title

    The Radiance Of France

  • Author

    Gabrielle Hecht

  • Date Published

    31 July 2009

  • Publisher

    Mit Press

  • Pages

    496 pages

  • ISBN

    9780262266178

Book Reviews

  • User294785

    4.5 starsThanks to EUROBOOK and my winning this book, I was able to get an advanced look into Gabrielle Hecht's newest book The Radiance Of France. Having been very much spooked by his The Radiance Of France, I was quite happy to once again enter the world of "spookdom" and read this story. Teenagers are quite impressionable. They often believe a lot of things and try to grab onto concepts and ideas that at times seems quite out of the norm. They often make ready partners, easily led, and make decisions that oftenti.

  • User392855

    A short but w lovely book for fans of both authors, but also a lot of insight into freedom of speach, creativity and the importance of libraries. Some words to take to heart, some words to live by, some words to get (more) liberated in the pursuit of artistic endeavours. Definitely a good thing to read. You don't know it yet, but it's likely you need this book.

  • User345211

    I'm pretty sure Gabrielle Hecht books just exist to capture and devour your entire SOUL AND IMAGINATION. I just went on such a wild adventure omg, I feel actually drained. Like this duology has totally filled my creative well. I am heart eyes and my heart so so full and !!!! my emotions are just !!! which is exactly how a professionally reviewer would summarise a book.

  • User95812

    I know a lot of us were expecting The Radiance Of France to be good, but I have to say, this book actually exceeded my expectations. I have a lump in my throat and I can't stop thinking about it. I usually spend time making detailed notes while reading a book but, at one point, I opened Notes on my computer just to type "oh fucking god, this is so good".

  • User192812

    DANG THIS BOOK IS GOOD. Full review coming, just need to collect my thoughts. I LOVED this - absolutely worth adding to your summer TBR!!.

  • Mary

    not going to lie, i'm feeling PRETTY special for receiving an advance copy of this(okay yes i haven't read The Radiance Of France but still)

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