Memoirs of the maelstrom: a Senegalese oral history of the First World War

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Heinemann, Dec 16, 1999 - History - 264 pages
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. This work also is a significant contribution to the study of the changing character of Franco-African relations during the colonial era, using the crucial watershed of the First World War as a frame of reference. Book jacket.

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