100 books like The Collaborator

By Alice Kaplan,

Here are 100 books that The Collaborator fans have personally recommended if you like The Collaborator. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Vichy Syndrome

By Henry Rousso, Arthur Goldhammer (translator),

Book cover of The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944

Bertram M. Gordon Author Of Historical Dictionary of World War II France: The Occupation, Vichy, and the Resistance, 1938-1946

From the list on France in World War II.

Who am I?

As a child in New York, I was interested in history to the point where by third grade I had memorized the list of U.S. presidents beginning with George Washington. The world was more Eurocentric than now, and I was taken by what I saw as the richness of European history. Surrounded later by Leftist academics, I became interested in the Right. Why were so many, especially among the lower middle classes, drawn to the Right and fascism during the first half of the twentieth century? This led to my interviewing and studying World War II pro-Nazi French collaborators. Later I branched into food history and the history of tourism.

Bertram's book list on France in World War II

Why did Bertram love this book?

The role of France and the activities of the French during the Second World War German occupation, spanning the range from resistance through accommodation to collaboration, has been the subject of considerable literature on both sides of the Atlantic. First published in France in 1987, The Vichy Syndrome characterizes the memory of the war years as “a past that doesn't pass away.” The book addresses the different ways in which the war years were remembered and helped popularize the study of historical memory, meaning the study not only of the events themselves but also how they are remembered and how these memories influence political and cultural life in succeeding generations. Rousso received France’s National Order of Merit in 1995 and in 2018 was chosen by President Macron to supervise the design of France’s new Memorial Museum of Societies Facing Terrorism.  

By Henry Rousso, Arthur Goldhammer (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Vichy Syndrome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Liberation purges to the Barbie trial, France has struggled with the memory of the Vichy experience: a memory of defeat, occupation, and repression. In this provocative study, Henry Rousso examines how this proud nation-a nation where reality and myth commingle to confound understanding-has dealt with les annees noires. Specifically, he studies what the French have chosen to remember-and to conceal.


The Banquet Years

By Roger Shattuck,

Book cover of The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I

Rosanna Warren Author Of Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters

From the list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict.

Who am I?

I’m a poet, literary critic, translator, and biographer, and I grew up partly in France. I became obsessed with Max Jacob when I was twenty. Max Jacob—mystic, poet, painter, and suffering lover—took hold of me, and I found myself writing poems to him, in his voice, in my sketchbooks. They were among my first published poems: he redirected my life. A few years later I stumbled into writing his biography, never imagining that it would take thirty-five years: it came out from W. W. Norton in 2020, along with my most recent book of poems So Forth. I teach Comparative Literature in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Rosanna's book list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict

Why did Rosanna love this book?

A perpetually useful and inspiring book. Shattuck’s study of modern art in France came out in 1955 and remains a lively source for understanding how key artists—Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau, Erik Satie, and Guillaume Apollinaire—absorbed and reshaped traditions in writing, painting, and music, and launched the ethos of avant-garde aesthetics in the 20th century. A master storyteller, Shattuck situates his artists in their time, place, and culture with novelistic flair.

By Roger Shattuck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Banquet Years as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Flaubert and Madame Bovary

By Francis Steegmuller,

Book cover of Flaubert and Madame Bovary: A Double Portrait

Rosanna Warren Author Of Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters

From the list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict.

Who am I?

I’m a poet, literary critic, translator, and biographer, and I grew up partly in France. I became obsessed with Max Jacob when I was twenty. Max Jacob—mystic, poet, painter, and suffering lover—took hold of me, and I found myself writing poems to him, in his voice, in my sketchbooks. They were among my first published poems: he redirected my life. A few years later I stumbled into writing his biography, never imagining that it would take thirty-five years: it came out from W. W. Norton in 2020, along with my most recent book of poems So Forth. I teach Comparative Literature in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Rosanna's book list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict

Why did Rosanna love this book?

One of the most moving accounts I know of how literary creation takes place. With extraordinary sensitivity, Steegmuller reveals the mind and soul of the perturbed young bourgeois, Gustave Flaubert, and shows him growing, bit by bit, page by page, into the writer who set new terms for the art of the novel for the next hundred years. Art remains a mystery, but Steegmuller brings us uncannily close to the heart of it.

By Francis Steegmuller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flaubert and Madame Bovary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Francis Steegmuller's beautifully executed double portrait of Madame Bovary and her maker is a remarkable and unusual biographical study, a sensitive and detailed account of how an unpromising young man turns himself into one of the world's greatest novelists. Steegmuller starts with the young Flaubert, prone to mysterious fits, hypochondriacal, at odds with and yet dependent on his bourgeois family. Then, drawing on Flaubert's voluminous correspondence, Steegmuller tracks his subject through friendships and love affairs, a trip to the Orient, nervous breakdown and tenuous recovery, and finally into the study, where a mind at once restless and jaded finds a…


The Drunken Boat

By Arthur Rimbaud, Mark Polizzotti (translator),

Book cover of The Drunken Boat: Selected Writings

Rosanna Warren Author Of Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters

From the list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict.

Who am I?

I’m a poet, literary critic, translator, and biographer, and I grew up partly in France. I became obsessed with Max Jacob when I was twenty. Max Jacob—mystic, poet, painter, and suffering lover—took hold of me, and I found myself writing poems to him, in his voice, in my sketchbooks. They were among my first published poems: he redirected my life. A few years later I stumbled into writing his biography, never imagining that it would take thirty-five years: it came out from W. W. Norton in 2020, along with my most recent book of poems So Forth. I teach Comparative Literature in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Rosanna's book list on France modern art, culture, and political conflict

Why did Rosanna love this book?

Rimbaud is the inescapable, volcanically talented, revolutionary poet of late 19th century France, the boy who had mastered the classical idioms and forms of the art by the time he was fifteen, and by age eighteen was reinventing poetic language both in the prose poems of Illuminations and in visionary irregular lyrics. He stopped writing poetry at age twenty, but the poems he left behind helped to open the door to modern poetry around the world.

By Arthur Rimbaud, Mark Polizzotti (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Drunken Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new translation of the best and most provocative work by France's infamous rebel poet.

Poet, prodigy, precursor, punk: the short, precocious, uncompromisingly rebellious career of the poet Arthur Rimbaud is one of the legends of modern literature. By the time he was twenty, Rimbaud had written a series of poems that are not only masterpieces in themselves but that forever transformed the idea of what poetry is. Without him, surrealism is inconceivable, and his influence is palpable in artists as diverse as Henry Miller, John Ashbery, Bob Dylan, and Patti Smith. In this essential volume, renowned translator Mark Polizzotti…


Once Upon a Time in France

By Fabien Nury, Sylvain Vallee (illustrator), Ivanka Hahnenberger (translator)

Book cover of Once Upon a Time in France

Diaa Anwar Author Of The Sculptor and the Sacred River

From the list on comics with historical background.

Who am I?

In Egypt, we did not have our own Arab comics, but different worlds came to us from translated comics, American (Disney and superheroes), and French comics. I did not like superhero comics, I loved Disney comics and French comics, and n addition to my passion for reading history, some French series combine this, such as the Alix series. I would have loved to have a historical background to the events that prompted me to read more about them and get to know the real characters, how they lived, and how they ended.

Diaa's book list on comics with historical background

Why did Diaa love this book?

This comic book is one of the best-selling books in France, and it has won several awards.

Here we will find more historical facts than fiction. The book tells about the life of Joseph Joanovici, a Jew of Romanian origin who immigrated to France, became one of the wealthy, and experienced one of the darkest periods.

French history, which is the Nazi invasion of France, and in order to survive the horrors of this period, he had to deal with everyone, friends and enemies, until people were confused in judging him, was he loyal to his people or was he a traitor.

What I liked about this book is the wonderful scenario and the cinematic style, this series consists of five parts that you will never forget after you finish reading it.

By Fabien Nury, Sylvain Vallee (illustrator), Ivanka Hahnenberger (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Once Upon a Time in France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For some, he was a villain. For others, a hero.

Based on a true story, Once Upon a Time in France follows the life of Joseph Joanovici, a Romanian Jew who immigrated to France in the 1920s and became one of the richest men in Europe as a scrap-metal magnate. During the German occupation of France, he thought his influence could keep his family safe, but he soon finds that the only way to stay one step ahead of the Nazis is to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. Though he plays both sides of the fence as…


France Under the Germans

By Philippe Burrin, Janet Lloyd (translator),

Book cover of France Under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise

Bertram M. Gordon Author Of Historical Dictionary of World War II France: The Occupation, Vichy, and the Resistance, 1938-1946

From the list on France in World War II.

Who am I?

As a child in New York, I was interested in history to the point where by third grade I had memorized the list of U.S. presidents beginning with George Washington. The world was more Eurocentric than now, and I was taken by what I saw as the richness of European history. Surrounded later by Leftist academics, I became interested in the Right. Why were so many, especially among the lower middle classes, drawn to the Right and fascism during the first half of the twentieth century? This led to my interviewing and studying World War II pro-Nazi French collaborators. Later I branched into food history and the history of tourism.

Bertram's book list on France in World War II

Why did Bertram love this book?

Whereas historians and others in postwar France focused on French resistance to Nazi Germany during their Second World War occupation (1940-1944) relatively few in wartime France did in fact actively resist the Germans. Instead, while some in France either collaborated with the Germans after France’s defeat in 1940, many and arguably the majority chose a more passive accommodation to German supremacy. Especially in the early years of the occupation, French civilians often found the German soldiers more polite and seemingly respectful of the country they had just conquered than had been France’s British allies. Many in France, artists, intellectuals, business, and labor leaders, as well as military and clergy, were quite willing to accept German rule. Some hoped that German occupation would lead toward a more authoritarian French state, more in line with those of Germany and Italy at the time. Anti-Semitism was prevalent in France, where local people often…

By Philippe Burrin, Janet Lloyd (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked France Under the Germans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From 1940 to 1944, the French people adapted in a variety of ways to life under the domination of Nazi Germany. France under the Germans is the definitive study of the choices made by ordinary French citizens during that turbulent historical period, exposing for the first time the degree of their complicity with the Nazis. Acclaimed Swiss historian Philippe Burrin makes use of a wide variety of newly discovered sources: the records of businesses, industrial organizations, and banks; police files; and reports on mail censorship and telephone conversations. France under the Germans is an extraordinary analysis of the ways in…


Verdict On Vichy

By Michael Curtis,

Book cover of Verdict On Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From the list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Who am I?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Why did Boaz love this book?

Making Cojot, a documentary about a Parisian business consultant who hunted down former Gestapo commander Klaus Barbie, prompted me to closely examine Vichy. This French national administration went out of its way to appease its Nazi occupiers during World War II. But the more answers I dug up, the more questions I had. Verdict on Vichy filled in many of the gaps. For instance, it provided a possible explanation as to why the judges presiding over Barbie’s 1987 trial in Lyon granted his request to sit out the proceedings, thus depriving his victims’ families the opportunity to look him in the eyes as they recounted some of his crimes against humanity. The judges might have pounced at the chance to hide Barbie, who was reportedly ready to spill the beans about French leaders such as then-President François Mitterrand who collaborated with the Nazis. Michael Curtis went to great lengths…

By Michael Curtis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Verdict On Vichy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This masterful book is the first comprehensive reappraisal of the Vichy France regime for over 20 years. France was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944, and the exact nature of France's role in the Vichy years is only now beginning to come to light. One of the main reasons that the Vichy history is difficult to tell is that some of France's most prominent politicians, including President Mitterand, have been implicated in the regime. This has meant that public access to key documents has been denied and it is only now that an objective analysis is possible. The…


French Peasant Fascism

By Robert O. Paxton,

Book cover of French Peasant Fascism: Henry Dorgeres' Greenshirts and the Crises of French Agriculture, 1929-1939

Joseph Fronczak Author Of Everything Is Possible: Antifascism and the Left in the Age of Fascism

From the list on the worst sort of politics: fascism.

Who am I?

I’m a historian who wrote a book on antifascism. In a way, I decided to write a book on the history of antifascism because I thought it was a good way to make sense of the history of fascism. Something along the lines of: Nobody knows you like your worst enemies. But I also thought that more books on the history of antifascism itself would be a good thing. There are many books on fascism and relatively few on anti-fascism. Ultimately, I decided to write Everything Is Possible because I thought that the first antifascists had useful lessons to share about how to turn the world toward something better than the one you’ve been given.

Joseph's book list on the worst sort of politics: fascism

Why did Joseph love this book?

Ask some historians of fascism what book in English they recommend as an introduction to the subject, and, I’d guess, most will recommend Robert O. Paxton’s classic 2004 book-length essay, The Anatomy of Fascism.

Fair enough, but to my mind it is Paxton’s earlier monograph French Peasant Fascism that is his outright masterpiece of historical writing. If you’ve read The Anatomy of Fascism, there’s also the joy of seeing Paxton, in French Peasant Fascism, working out the ideas and themes that animate the later, better-known book. To understand the rightwing Depression-era French farmers known as the Greenshirts, Paxton argues, don’t focus so much on their official programs and doctrinal declarations, but rather watch them in action.

Watch them as they act out their ideology, at the market-day rally or when the taxman comes

By Robert O. Paxton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked French Peasant Fascism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

French Peasant Fascism is the first account of the Greenshirts, a militant right-wing peasant movement in 1930s France that sought to transform the Republic into an authoritarian, agrarian state. Author Robert Paxton examines the Greenshirts in five case studies, throwing new light on French rural society and institutions during the Depression and on the emergence of a new rural leadership of authentic farmers. Paxton points out that fascism remained weak in
the French countryside because the French state protected landowners more effectively than did those of Weimar Germany and Italy, and because French rural notables were so firmly embedded in…


Communal Luxury

By Kristin Ross,

Book cover of Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune

Anitra Nelson Author Of Beyond Money: A Postcapitalist Strategy

From the list on anti-capitalist struggles for a postcapitalism.

Who am I?

I don’t think of myself as a dreamer but, rather, a hard-headed activist scholar. Globally, most of us live under the domination of production for trade. We have ceded co-governance of production—collectively deciding what we produce, how we produce it, and for whom—to the abstract logic of markets operated via money. We face two great challenges reproduced by capitalism—growing socio-political inequities and ecological unsustainability. So, I argue that we must replace monetary values and operating systems with ‘real’, social and ecological, values and production for demand, for the basic needs of humans and the planet. Postcapitalism means moving beyond money to realize our self-value and emancipation. 

Anitra's book list on anti-capitalist struggles for a postcapitalism

Why did Anitra love this book?

The best historians and anthropologists either draw you into a subject as if you were living it or they directly connect their topic to life in the here and now.

Kristin Ross does both in Communal Luxury which crystalizes a radical imaginary drawn from a vividly reproduced past and posits it as a contemporary manifesto. An irresistible re-reading of the Paris Commune and all it stands for in the present and, more particularly, for our joint futures. 

By Kristin Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Communal Luxury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kristin Ross's new work on the thought and culture of the Communard uprising of 1871 resonates with the motivations and actions of contemporary protest, which has found its most powerful expression in the reclamation of public space. Today's concerns-internationalism, education, the future of labor, the status of art, and ecological theory and practice-frame and inform her carefully researched restaging of the words and actions of individual Communards. This original analysis of an event and its centrifugal effects brings to life the workers in Paris who became revolutionaries, the significance they attributed to their struggle, and the elaboration and continuation of…


Brave Men

By Ernie Pyle,

Book cover of Brave Men

Clément Horvath Author Of Till Victory: The Second World War By Those Who Were There

From the list on World War II letters.

Who am I?

I'm a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. Almost 20 years of collecting WWII letters led to the publication of my first book Till Victory which was an award-winning bestseller in France, before it was released in English worldwide in 2021. I also host a podcast (Till Victory: a podcast about WWII and Peace), where I interview British and American veterans, and have made documentaries such as Red Beret & Dark Chocolate or The Missing Highlander. It's all about trying to understand what the young men who fought and died to liberate my country went through when they were my age.

Clément's book list on World War II letters

Why did Clément love this book?

Alright, this is not technically a book about WWII letters, but it’s very close, and my favorite historical accounts’ book ever. Just like with wartime correspondence, Ernie Pyle wrote from the battlefield about the daily routine of the regular GI while experiencing it himself. Just like in a personal military letter, you get to know a tired civilian in uniform rather than a multi-medal bearing superhero with a thirst for action. With his exceptional writing, Pyle painted touching and realistic portraits, not of the Generals we've already read all about, but of the simple soldier who simply did his job and won the war with his sweat and blood.

By Ernie Pyle,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Brave Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle's on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier's experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote…


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