On a discourse level Ross presents a brilliant and insightful criticism of the historical processes of decolonization in conjunction with modernization movements She expands on the memoricide critiues from Benjamin Stora that France and the French have actively forgotten about the impacts of France s colonialimperialist roots in order to outline the processes that contributed to this dangerous defect of in her words making colonialism itself seem like a dusty archaism The refusal to factor this in to how France conceives of itself in terms of national history and identity is a malaise that she argues contributes to present day attitudes in France via discussions of immigration integration and intercultural engagementHowever in some ways Ross also participates in the problem that is by relying so much on conceptualization and interpretation of cultural signs in the
50s and 60s Ross fails to propose active ways of engaging the situation and 60s Ross fails to propose active ways of engaging the situation addressing the problem directly or of developing a useful realm of critiue for a series of authors filmographers and trends that were already losing contemporary relevance when her book was published in 1995 Her claim I try to provide an experience of the historicity that theories of postmodernism seek to efface is as much a contribution to the postmodern resistance to pinning down a clear and precise address to real world that is political social problematics as the works she critiues By turning her attention and focus to the everyday she does not engage with the very problem itself that is how to usurp the hegemony of the material to appropriately deal with the problems of colonialism as its after effects racism oppression continue to exist todayOverall I think Ross provides a very useful conceptualization for why so much of French literary and filmic works in the 50s and 60s completely avoided the uestion of France s colonial history altogether It s a necessary text for understanding contemporary French culture themes and attitudes But I wish it would have gone further in its critiue and challenging of the refusal to engage with The uestion of colonialism and its aftermath I love Ros. Fast Cars Clean Bodies examines the crucial decade from Dien Bien Phu to the mid 1960s when France shifted rapidly from an agrarian insular and empire oriented society to a decolonized Americanized and fully industrial one In this analysis of a startling cultural transformation Kristin Ross finds the contradictions of the period embedded in its various commodities and cultural artifacts automobiles washing machines women's magazines film popular fiction even structuralism as well as in the practices that shape determine and delimit their usesIn each of the book's four chapters a central object of my.
Kristin Ross ↠ 6 CHARACTERSS I don t always agree with her and she drives social historians crazy but she is so inventive and such a creative thinker it s difficult not to be smitten with her This is her easy one and uite different from what most people are used to in a history book after the first chapter a history book After the first chapter so you will never be able to look at an automobile the same way again Her book on May 1968 is ust as imaginative but aimed suarely at other scholars and places greater demands on the reader Very interesting analysis of French post war modernization I found the final chapter with its analsysiscritiue of structuralism to be extremely valuable I love this book It s fascinating You will never look at France modern culture or kitchen appliances the same ever again This is a small book less than 200 pages but very dense Ross author of another great book The Emergence of Social Space Rimbaud and the Paris Commune analyzes France s rush to Americanize after WWII and its negation of the rush to Americanize after WWII and its negation of the struggle as an anachronism She gives a politicized reading of the Structuralists and New Novelists arguing that their insistence on the end of history and the end of man was an implicit collaboration with the rising new technocracy funded by the CIA of course The metaphor of nettoyage cleaning house running through discourses of the time in the social sciences in advertising in reference to the colonial wars is very striking This is a cultural studies work at its
finest clear convincing politically astute and extremely insightful this is a well written book and everything but most ofclear convincing politically astute and extremely insightful this is a well written book and everything but most of emphasis she puts on hygiene or cars seems rather commonplace so i did not feel like i learned too much still it made me think uite a bit about the timothy burke book lux women lifebuoy men perhaps that book must have been inspired by this one uite a bit This is an utterly engaging read that looks at France at the disintegration of its colonial empire and its rebirth as a modern European state following World War II The losses in Vietnam and Algeria play as distant backdrops to the rising consumer culture and need for soap and automobiles in a 1960 s France eager for chea. Thical image is refracted across a range of discursive and material spaces social and private textual and cinematic national and international The automobile the new cult of cleanliness in the capital and the colonies the waning of Sartre and de Beauvoir as the couple of national attention and the emergence of reshaped functionalist masculinities revolutionary corporate and structural become the key elements in this prehistory of postmodernism in FranceModernization ideology Ross argues offered the promise of limitless even timeless development By situating the rise of end of history ideologies with. .