La Revue universelle (1920-1940) : aux origines intellectuelles du pétainisme / Christine Foureau.
Through an analysis of the political discourse in the Revue universelle , a publication founded by Charles Maurras (leader of the Action Française) and aimed at a conservative elite, this dissertation shows that the Vichy government (1940–1944) was not an aberration in French political history. Contrary to the position prevalent within contemporary historiography, at least in France, I argue that the Pétain regime has intellectual roots that can be traced back to the beginning of the interwar era. This dissertation highlights the progression of antidemocratic and antiliberal views in the Revue universelle between 1920 and 1940. Several intellectuals and writers sympathetic to the royalist movement including Jacques Bainville, Henri Massis, Thierry Maulnier and Robert Brasillach published articles in the Revue expressing a growing interest in authoritarian and fascist European regimes. Toward the end of the 1930s, some of them came to advocate a dictatorship in France similar to that established by Salazar in Portugal. To the extent that the gradual radicalization of the political discourse in the Revue mirrors the ideological evolution of its audience, this dissertation reveals the progressive erosion of confidence in the Third Republic and in its democratic foundations among conservatives. In sum, by the time the war broke out, the Republic had been so thoroughly delegitimized in conservative circles that most members of the Right were ready to support the Vichy regime and Pétain's “révolution nationale” in 1940.
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