Mutinous memories

A subjective history of French military protest in 1919

By Matt Perry

Mutinous memories


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1410-5
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: Maritime history, France, c 1910 to c 1919, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Maritime History & Piracy, HISTORY / Revolutionary, HISTORY / Europe / France, Humanities / Maritime history, Humanities / Military history, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, History, Mutiny, Military history
  • Series: Studies in Modern French and Francophone History


This book explores the eight-month wave of mutinies that struck the French infantry and navy in 1919. Based on official records and the testimony of dozens of participants, it is the first study to try to understand the world of the mutineers. Examining their words for the traces of sensory perceptions, emotions and thought processes, it reveals that the conventional understanding of the mutinies as the result of simple war-weariness and low morale is inadequate. In fact, an emotional gulf separated officers and the ranks, who simply did not speak the same language. The revolt entailed emotional sequences ending in a deep ambivalence and sense of despair or regret. Taking this into account, the book considers how mutineer memories persisted after the events in the face of official censorship, repression and the French Communist Party's co-option of the mutiny.


'One of the lasting memories of World War I is the series of mutinies that occurred both during and after the conflict. Readers who are familiar with what happened in Germany and Russia in 1917 and 1918, but not cognizant of the severity of the problems experienced by France in 1919, will find Perry's Mutinous Memories enlightening. Perry, a reader of labor history at Newcastle University in the UK, sheds light on the international dimensions of this lost aspect of French history during its centennial year. By examining both official records and survivor testimonials, he produces the finest example of scholarship that captures the moment and temper of the times. His investigative research revises long-held assumptions concerning the causes of the mutinies as well as how competing political ideologies have swayed popular perceptions ever since. The mutinies of 1919 have been neglected for far too long. Perry's lasting achievement is rescuing their memory from the dustbin of history, so future generations can reevaluate their significance as memories and motives fade. Mutinous Memories is a masterpiece of historical scholarship covering a momentous event long forgotten, but one that still has relevance today.'
Choice Connect


1 Sensing mutiny
2 Mutinous emotion
3 A mutineers' world: transnationalism and the sense of place
4 Age, time and personal memory
5 Associational memory


Matt Perry is Reader in Labour History at Newcastle University

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