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L’histoire populaire : label éditorial ou nouvelle forme d’écriture du social ?

Abstract : People’s History: A Branding Strategy, or a New Way of Writing about Social History? While it took over two decades before Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States (Harper Collins, 1980) was translated into French as Une histoire populaire des États-Unis (Agone, 2002), the 2010s have seen an increased number of so-called “histoires populaires de…”. Some of these are translations of books entitled A People’s History of… and published in English, offering French readers ‘people’s histories’ of humanity, of the sciences or of sport. However, over the past three to four years, French historiography has been enriched with many “people’s histories”, e.g. of Nantes, football or of course France, with the successive publications by Michelle Zancarini-Fournel and Gérard Noiriel in 2016 and 2018. This rising trend raises questions: are “people’s histories” just a trendy publishing category? The commercial success of Howard Zinn’s book and its many variants (as comic books, documentaries, abridged versions or versions for children, etc.) may have prompted publishers to attempt to copy this phenomenon, or at least to take advantage of the title’s “brand”. Or rather, might the reading of these books prompt us to identify the emergence of a new way of writing about society? That is, a product of renewed historiographic approaches whereby more classic formulations—such as “a social history of…”—are set aside.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 1:04:11 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:28:40 AM

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Émilien Ruiz. L’histoire populaire : label éditorial ou nouvelle forme d’écriture du social ?. Le Mouvement social, Les Editions de l'Atelier/Editions ouvrières, 2020, pp.185 - 230. ⟨hal-02878921⟩

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