post-war France

How crime writer Jean Meckert captured the grim mood of postwar France

Culture-Idées— Analysis

The late novelist, crime writer and screenwriter Jean Meckert, who sometimes wrote under the name Jean Amila, chronicled society in post-war France in a series of articles for a weekly publication. Many of these have now been collected in a book called 'Chez les anarchistes'. Written between 1946 and 1956, they reveal a downtrodden mood in parts of French society that was far removed from the high hopes that Liberation had brought at the end of World War II. They also show an author who was wearied by events but never resigned to them, and whose humour and energy outshone any disillusion. Sébastien Omont of the online literary review En attendant Nadeau explores Meckert's post-war articles.

The reality of France's '30 glorious' post-war boom years


A three-decade period that began with the reconstruction of post-war France in 1945, which saw steady economic growth, full employment, the development of a consumer society and a baby-boom is widely known in the country as “les Trente Glorieuses”. Recurrent economic crises since have made many nostalgic of a long-gone, supposedly blissful “thirty glorious” years. But a number of historians argue that for most of the population there never was this golden age that has become a national legend. Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports on the myth and reality of the Trente Glorieuses.