Strains of Dissent

Strains of Dissent

Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII France, 1940 - 1945

Rhetoric & Public Affairs

by Kelly Jakes

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Imprint: Michigan State University Press

256 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 13

  • ISBN: 9781611863055
  • Published: January 2019



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During the German Occupation from 1940 to 1944, Resistance fighters, Parisian youth, and French prisoners of war mined a vast repertoire from a long national musical tradition and a burgeoning international entertainment industry, embracing music as a rhetorical resource with which to destabilize Nazi ideology and contest collaborationist Vichy propaganda. After the Liberation of 1944, popular music continued to mediate French political life, helping citizens to challenge American hegemony and recuperate their nation’s lost international standing. Ultimately, through song, French dissidents rejected Nazi subordination, the politics of collaboration, and American intervention and insisted upon a return to that trinity of traditional French values, liberté, egalité, fraternité. Strains of Dissent recovers the significance of music as a rhetorical means of survival, subversion, and national identity construction and illuminates the creative and cunning ways that individual citizens defied the Occupation outside of formal resistance networks and movements.