Memoirs of the Maelstrom by Joe H Lunn. A Senegalese Oral History
Cart Search Mobile Navigation
Memoirs of the Maelstrom

Memoirs of the Maelstrom

A Senegalese Oral History of the First World War

    ...a strikingly original project accomplished by an author who has thought deeply about the methodology of oral history, and the frank account of the nature of French rule is shocking. Rarely do we have a fully reliable account of colonialism as seen by the colonized, and Joe Lunn's book provides an authoritative and engaging account.
    —French Colonial Historical Society
    The use of the oral histories allows the author to add a new important dimension to the discussion of military recruitment, training, war time service, and repatriation....Because of its inclusion of African voices and African memories, Lunn's work makes an original and important contribution to the literature on a whole range of topics.
    —James F. Searing, Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago
    I find this to be an important and original contribution to the literature.... [Now] we have voices speaking out eloquently concerning the Senegalese perception of events. We see the significant difference in perspective which emerged among Senegalese, depending upon whether they were rural lads who served in the Tirailleurs Senegalais or originaires from the four communes who served in the regular French units.
    —Myron Echenberg, Professor of History, McGill University, Montreal
    This manuscript represents a significant contribution to the field, revising received wisdom about whether or not African troops were used as cannon fodder during World War I. The author persuasively re-interprets the data and supports what will prove to be a fresh, controversial, but in the end—winning argument. This is a work contributing to the rich and varied literature on the World War which reshaped not only Europe, but Africa.
    —William B. Cohen, Professor of History, Indiana University

Between...

Star Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.

Paperback

This title is printed on demand and is nonreturnable. Please allow 1 week for printing.

List Price: $44.63

Web/School Price: $35.70

Quantity

(click any section below to continue reading)

Full Description

    ...a strikingly original project accomplished by an author who has thought deeply about the methodology of oral history, and the frank account of the nature of French rule is shocking. Rarely do we have a fully reliable account of colonialism as seen by the colonized, and Joe Lunn's book provides an authoritative and engaging account.
    —French Colonial Historical Society
    The use of the oral histories allows the author to add a new important dimension to the discussion of military recruitment, training, war time service, and repatriation....Because of its inclusion of African voices and African memories, Lunn's work makes an original and important contribution to the literature on a whole range of topics.
    —James F. Searing, Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago
    I find this to be an important and original contribution to the literature.... [Now] we have voices speaking out eloquently concerning the Senegalese perception of events. We see the significant difference in perspective which emerged among Senegalese, depending upon whether they were rural lads who served in the Tirailleurs Senegalais or originaires from the four communes who served in the regular French units.
    —Myron Echenberg, Professor of History, McGill University, Montreal
    This manuscript represents a significant contribution to the field, revising received wisdom about whether or not African troops were used as cannon fodder during World War I. The author persuasively re-interprets the data and supports what will prove to be a fresh, controversial, but in the end—winning argument. This is a work contributing to the rich and varied literature on the World War which reshaped not only Europe, but Africa.
    —William B. Cohen, Professor of History, Indiana University

Between 1914 and 1918, the French army recruited over 140,000 West Africans who served as combatants on the Western Front. Wartime recruitment had profound implications for African as well as French society. Focusing on Senegal, Lunn provides a unique perspective for assessing the range of the war's impact on West Africans. Based on the testimony of 85 African witnesses or veterans of the First World War and extensive archival research, Lunn's book offers novel insights into the nature of the prewar colonial order, the conduct of colonial recruitment drives and their impact on Africans, the soldiers' service overseas, and how the experience altered many African soldiers' previous attitudes about themselves, their societies, and the French.

Contents

Contents:
Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Vision of the Vanquished: Memories of the Prewar Colonial Order
2. The Tax in Blood: Military Recruitment in Rural Senegal, 1914-1917
3. The War to Obtain Rights: Conscription in the Communes and the Diagne Mission of 1918
4. "The Long Journey": From Kayor to the C“te d'Azur
5. "To Meet Death Far Away": The Senegalese in the Trenches
6. "Bons Soldats" and "Sales NŠgres": Senegalese Contacts with the French
7. Beneath the Roots of the Baobab: The Repatriation of the Soldiers and the Postwar Colonial Order in Senegal
Conclusion: The Legacy of the First World War in Senegal
Postscript: Discordant Voices: The Veterans Speak