"I agree with Singer and Langdon who point out over and over again that the conquerors and the conquered shared in both the benefits and the sacrifices of imperialism. All this makes for a notable work."—William A. Hoisington, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Modern European & French Colonial History, University of Illinois at Chicago
Bridging gaps between intellectual history, biography, and military/colonial history, Barnett Singer and John Langdon provide a challenging, readable interpretation of French imperialism and some of its leading figures from the early modern era through the Fifth Republic. They ask us to rethink and reevaluate, pulling away from the usual shoal of simplistic condemnation. In a series of finely-etched biographical studies, and with much detail on both imperial culture and wars (including World War I and II), they offer a balanced, deep, strong portrait of key makers and defenders of the French Empire, one that will surely stimulate much historical work in the field.
"Cultured Force is a revisionist work, first because it takes vigorous issue with prevalent negative views of colonial activity, second because it presents most of the military figures who are the heroes of the tale as cultivated, sensitive, all-round men. And its focus on individual personalities brings the story to life, filling it with anecdotes and color. . . The result is intriguing, mostly convincing, sometimes demanding, and quite fascinating."—Eugen Weber, Professor Emeritus of Modern European History, UCLA
"Scholarly and yet passionately personal—without in any way drifting from the essential bibliographic and archival moorings. . . . A splendid overall addition to the always growing literature."—John C. Cairns, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Toronto