Mutinous memories

A subjective history of French military protest in 1919

By Matt Perry

Mutinous memories


  • eBook
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1410-5
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: History, Mutiny, Military history, Maritime history, France, c 1910 to c 1919, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Maritime History & Piracy, HISTORY / Revolutionary, HISTORY / Europe / France, Humanities / Military history, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Humanities / Maritime history, Modern 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.


'This is a fascinating and well-researched study that offers an original analysis of a well-worn tale of military protest, and it will be of interest to military, political, social and cultural historians alike.'
Social History

'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

'profoundly original and ambitious ... Mutinous memories should inspire those who read it to think afresh about how history might be written.'
Labour History Review


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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