Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780859894913 Published January 1996 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

After the Ruins

Restoring the Countryside of Northern France after the Great War

Hugh Clout

After the Ruins

Hugh Clout

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

352 pages | illustrations, many detailed maps | 9 1/2 x 6 2/5 | © 1996
Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780859894913 Published January 1996 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
After the Ruins uses both official and unofficial records to explore a relatively ignored aspect of recent rural history: how the fields, farms, villages and market towns of Northern France were restored during the 1920s in the aftermath of the Great War. The book contains illustrations and many detailed maps and makes use of both official reports and unofficial critical commentaries.

1. The war-torn zone

2. The intensity of devastation

3. The start of emergency action

4. The Service des Travaux de Première Urgence

5. Motoculture

6. The Office de Reconstitution Agricole

7. Achievements of the emergency phase

8. Principles of compensation, rules of reconstruction

9. Reconstruction cooperatives

10. Land and livelihood: continuity and change

11. Toward a balance sheet

Review Quotes
Journal of Economic and Social Geography

“Hugh Clout has written a scholarly, dense text on an engrossing topic that will be of interest to all concerned with reconstruction after the First World War, and indeed interested in the still neglected interwar period of European historical geography.” –Journal of Economic and Social Geography

The Agricultural History Review
"The story told by Clout is full of detail, yet never loses sight of the main themes. It is the product of considerable research in national and departemental archives, and fills a notable hole in the history of rural France. It should be added that the quality of both print and illustrations is excellent, and the University of Exeter Press are to be congratulated on producing a high-quality book at a reasonable price." –The Agricultural History Review, Vol 46.1, June 1998
Geographical Journal

“Clout provides a wealth of fascinating detail on conflicts and tensions between the various local interest groups and political organizations that emerged to coordinate reconstruction; between the local, national and even international initiatives that were involved, and between the different secular and religious agencies. The book has been very nicely produced by the publishers and has more than 40 superb maps and around a dozen photographs which convey both the nature of the devastation and the energy of those who rebuilt. This is, in short, an extremely important work which deserves to be widely read by geographers and historians alike. It will stand as a fitting memorial to the efforts (successful or otherwise) of all those who strove to overcome the terrible damage of modern war.” –Geographical Journal, 163 (3), 1997

Roger Kain
“...a fascinating story of bureaucracy and its well-meaning inefficiency, of the indomitable power of the human spirit to survive, of the passion of the peasantry to return to their own piece of France and to live and work again on their own holdings, of attempts to modernise as well as restore which took little account of people‚Äôs yearning to return to the familiar. It is a book which will have a wide appeal across the social sciences...” –Roger Kain, Montefiore Professor of Geography, University of Exeter
Journal of Historical Geography

“. . . a pathbreaking contribution to the literature. . . The effects of the war on land use, mechanization, dispersion of the population and their resettlement have never been as carefully treated. There are powerful and telling surveys of the negotiation between local residents and official organizations over the extent of damage, and the appropriate levels of compensation for the devastation brought about by the war. There are original interpretations of the use of Chinese labour on reclamation projects, on the presence of workers from Italy, Belgium, Poland, Spain and Portugal, as well as resistance to the notion that German workers might rebuild where previously their brethren had destroyed. There is interesting detail on these fields as the repository of huge necropoli, and the commemorative efforts which organized the cemeteries which are still sprinkled liberally across this diagonal linking Belgium and Switzerland.” –Journal of Historical Geography, 1997

For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from University of Exeter Press. RSS Feed