The World of the Paris Café
Sociability among the French Working Class, 1789-1914
In The World of the Paris Café, W. Scott Haine investigates what the working-class café reveals about the formation of urban life in nineteenth-century France. Café society was not the product of a small elite of intellectuals and artists, he argues, but was instead the creation of a diverse and changing working population. Making unprecedented use of primary sources—from marriage contracts to police and bankruptcy records—Haine investigates the café in relation to work, family life, leisure, gender roles, and political activity. This rich and provocative study offers a bold reinterpretation of the social history of the working men and women of Paris.
About the Author
W. Scott Haine is a member of the faculty at Holy Names College in California and is the editor of the Social History of Alcohol Review.
[Haine] invites the reader of The World of the Paris Café to step up to the serving counter of a nineteenth-century Parisian café to eavesdrop on the conversations and to observe the dynamics of this unique working-class establishment... These cafés were far more than places to eat and drink to the great majority of working-class Parisians, who also frequented such establishments seeking shelter from authorities, exchanging and developing and sometimes enacting their ideas.
As its subtitle indicates, this book is as much about the emergence and flowering of working-class sociability as it is about the cafés that fostered this sociability, as much about milieu as it is about lieu... This study is both wide-ranging and well researched... At once serious and lively.
Haine takes the café as an institution with its own history... But Haine's greatest contribution is the impressive archival work... The World of the Paris Café is a rich study to which dix-neuviémistes in their turn can raise a glass.
Haine investigates a topic which is crucial in its own right and which ties together many of the central issues which historians have been debating in recent years. He uses neighborhood cafés as a privileged position from which to observe not only drinking and masculine play but also class formation, political mobilization, prostitution, job hunting, and many other activities that were important components of popular culture. He makes noteworthy contributions to many of the debates because he can bring so much new information and so many new perspectives to bear.
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
|The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science|
Other Titles from The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science
Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / General
Other Titles in European history