Roland Mousnier

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Roland Émile Mousnier (September 7, 1907–February 8, 1993) was a French historian of the early modern period in France and of the comparative studies of different civilizations.


Mousnier was born in Paris and received his education at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. Between 1932 and 1947, Mousnier worked as a school teacher in Rouen and Paris. During the Second World War, Mousnier was a member of the French Resistance. After 1945, Mousnier served as a professor at Strasbourg University (1947–1955) and at the Sorbonne (1955–1977). Keenly interested in social history, Mousnier went to the United States to learn sociology and anthropology. In 1934, Mousnier married Jeanne Lecacheur.Finley-Croswhite, Annette "Mousnier, Roland" pages 843-844 from The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Volume 2, edited by Kelly Boyd, Fitzroy Publishers, London, Chicago, 1999 page 844


Mousnier was one of the few post-war French historians who was a detractor of both the Annales School and Marxist views of history. A right-wing Roman Catholic, Mousnier had a famous feud with the Soviet Marxist historian Boris Porchnev over whether peasant revolts in 17th century France reflected class warfare or not.Mousnier denied there was much of idea of class in France during that period, which thus meant that there could have been no class war in 17th century France as Porchnev maintained. In Mousnier's view, social...
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