The World of the Paris Café

Sociability among the French Working Class, 1789-1914 (The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science)

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"[Haine] invites the reader of The World of the Paris Café to step up to the serving counter of a nineteenth-century Parisian café to eavesdrop on the conversations and to observe the dynamics of this unique working-class establishment... These ca

"[Haine] invites the reader of The World of the Paris Café to step up to the serving counter of a nineteenth-century Parisian café to eavesdrop on the conversations and to observe the dynamics of this unique working-class establishment... These cafés were far more than places to eat and drink to the great majority of working-class Parisians, who also frequented such establishments seeking shelter from authorities, exchanging and developing and sometimes enacting their ideas."--Jack B. Ridley, History: Review of New Books

In The World of the Paris Café, W. Scott Haine investigates what the working-class café reveals about the formation of urban life in nineteenth-century France. Café society was not the product of a small elite of intellectuals and artists, he argues, but was instead the creation of a diverse and changing working population. Making unprecedented use of primary sources -- from marriage contracts to police and bankruptcy records -- Haine investigates the café in relation to work, family life, leisure, gender roles, and political activity. This rich and provocative study offers a bold reinterpretation of the social history of the working men and women of Paris.

"As its subtitle indicates, this book is as much about the emergence and flowering of working-class sociability as it is about the cafés that fostered this sociability, as much about milieu as it is about lieu... This study is both wide-ranging and well researched... At once serious and lively."--Elizabeth Ezra, Labour History Review

"Haine takes the café as an institution with its own history... But Haine's greatest contribution is the impressive archival work... The World of the Paris Café is a rich study to which dix-neuviémistes in their turn can raise a glass."--Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Nineteenth-Century French Studies

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