Paperback / softback
July 9, 2007
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
$24.95 USD, £19.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Melodramatic Thread

Spectacle and Political Culture in Modern France

In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This "melodramatic thread" helped weave the country's political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, James R. Lehning sheds light on democratization in modern France. He explores the extent to which the dramatic forms were present in the public performance of political power. By concentrating on the Republic and the Revolution and on theatrical performance, Lehning affirms the importance of examining the performative aspects of French political culture for understanding the political differences that have marked France in the years since 1789.

About the Author

James R. Lehning is Professor of History at The University of Utah and author of To Be a Citizen: The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic and Peasant and French: Cultural Contact in Rural France during the Nineteenth Century.


"The analyses in this book make a real contribution to debates about the ways in which art, particularly popular art, and politics interact; how politics itself is theatrical in the French case; and the role of ritual in politics and the function of politics as ritual and ceremony.Vol. 40 No.3 2010"—John Gaffney, Aston University

"In this thoroughly researched and persuasive book, Lehning (history, Univ. of Utah) provides a fascinating reading of public performances in modern France. . . . This is an important contribution to the study of French culture and the democratization process. . . . Essential."—Choice

"Short books on large subjects are often stimulating to read and critique, and Lehning's falls into that category. Vol. 81.3 Sept. 2009"—Sarah Maza, Northwestern University

"Lehning's application of the themes of melodrama to French political culture offers new insights into French history. His style is livelyclear, and highly readable."—Venita Datta, Wellesley College

9780253219107 : the-melodramatic-thread-lehning
Paperback / softback
192 Pages
$24.95 USD

Other Titles from Interdisciplinary Studies in History

Moving Europeans, Second Edition, Second Edition

Leslie Page Moch
Sep 2009 - Indiana University Press
$26.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Rioting in America

Paul Arn Gilje
Mar 1999 - Indiana University Press
$22.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / France

Etienne Gilson

Florian Michel, translated by James G. Colbert
Jun 2023 - The Catholic University of America Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

French B Movies

David A. Pettersen
Mar 2023 - Indiana University Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Jean Gabin

Joseph Harriss
Feb 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in French Revolution

Respectable Folly

Clarke Garrett
Dec 2019 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$47.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$47.00 USD - Electronic book text

Ultraroyalism in Toulouse

David Higgs
Nov 2019 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$47.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$47.00 USD - Electronic book text

Generation Stalin

Andrew Sobanet
Sep 2018 - Indiana University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback
$36.00 USD - Paperback / softback