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A Register of the Claude Paillat Papers
2008C38  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Claude Paillat papers
    Dates: 1863-2000
    Collection Number: 2008C38
    Creator: Paillat, Claude
    Collection Size: Number of Containers: 435 manuscript boxes, 14 card file boxes, 4 oversize boxes 183.7 linear feet
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Acquired in 2008, the Claude Paillat papers in the Hoover Institution Archives represent a substantial documentary resource on modern French history. At present, they are the single largest collection relating to France in the holdings of the archives. The large bulk of the papers is comprised of the research materials used by Paillat in the preparation of his books on France during the period between the end of World War I and the aftermath of World War II. There are additional materials relating to the wars in Indochina and Algeria; to the local and regional history of 20th century France; to the presidencies of Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and François Mitterrand; and to French economic history.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: French
    Language of Material: There are some English materials.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Claude Paillat papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2008.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1924 Born, Paris, France
    1949-1956 Journalist, Paris Match. Reports on wars in Indochina and Algeria
    1958-1961 Journalist, Paris-Presse
    1961 Author, Dossier secret de l'Algérie
    1961-1985 Journalist, Le Canard enchaîné
    1966 Author, l'échiquier de l'Algérie
    1969 Author, Archives secrètes 1968-1969: les coulisses d'une année terrible
      Author, 20 ans qui déchirent la France, tome 1. Le Guêpier
    1972 Author, 20 ans qui déchirent la France, tome 2. La Liquidation
    1979 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 1. 1919 ou les illusions de la gloire
    1980 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 2. La Victoire perdue
    1981 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 3. La Guerre à l'horizon
    1983-1984 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 4. Le Désastre de 1940 (in two volumes)
    1985 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 5. La Guerre-éclair
    1987 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 6. L'Occupation, le pillage de la France
    1989 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 7. La France dans la guerre américaine
    1992 Author, Dossiers secrets de la France, tome 8. Le monde sans la France
    2001 Died

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Acquired in 2008, the Claude Paillat papers in the Hoover Institution Archives represent a substantial documentary resource on modern French history. At present, they are the single largest collection relating to France in the holdings of the archives. The large bulk of the papers is comprised of the research materials used by Paillat in the preparation of his books on France during the period between the end of World War I and the aftermath of World War II. There are additional materials relating to the wars that ended French colonial rule in Indochina and Algeria; to the local and regional history of 20th century France; to the presidencies of Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and François Mitterrand; and to French economic history.
    Paillat was a journalist who became a best-selling historian. His most significant work is his eight-volume Dossiers secrets de la France contemporaine, a series that covers the span of French history from the conclusion of the First World War to the end of the Second. He also published a two-volume study of the Algerian War; a monograph on the French defeat in Indochina, as well as one on the last turbulent year of Charles de Gaulle's presidency; and a two part history of the Catholic church in France.
    Paillat's books enjoyed popular success while at the same time being based on exhaustive research. He not only made use of various French archives, he also relied on the extensive contacts he had made across French society, including members of the military, leading industrialists, and politicians. These contacts allowed Paillat to consult, and in some cases acquire, personal collections of correspondence and other documents, many of which formed the basis of the detailed descriptions of events and personalities in his books. His exclusive access to such documents also give Paillat's books - most of which contain the word "secret" in the title - the aspect of revealing confidential or privileged information. Paillat referred to his research methods as yielding a "tapestry" woven from various sources.
    The Research Materials are arranged according to Paillat's original French subject headings, with additional identification provided at the folder level. The materials include copies of many official documents, private correspondence, as well as clippings and academic studies. There are numerous military records - intelligence reports, campaign journals and correspondence - relating to the French experience in World War II. There are also many documents generated by the French national police (Gendarmerie Nationale) during the Vichy period. Additionally, there are copies of reports on France in the 1930s originating from the United States embassy in Paris, as well as other American documents concerning France and North Africa in World War II.
    The Paillat papers contain substantial materials emanating from the French colonial administrations in Indochina and North Africa. The Indochina materials span the period from the 1920s to the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, and include some documents describing the increasing American involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s. There are extensive materials in the collection pertaining to the Algerian War, including many documents relating both to the Algerian nationalist movement and the military rebellion by rightwing French officers against de Gaulle. There are also many police and intelligence reports from Algeria in the 1920s and 1930s.
    The research materials are particularly rich in the local and regional history of France. Paillat was interested in documenting the family histories of the French economic elite ( patronat) and conducted many interviews with members of this social class. The collection has numerous tape recordings and transcripts of these interviews. There is extensive documentation of the interwar years in France, on domestic politics and little studied movements such as Bourgeoisie Chrétienne, Redressement Français, and X-Crise. There are also materials relating to various social reform initiatives in France, including documents acquired by Paillat from the personal collections of Aymé Bernard and Achille Liénart.
    The Paillat papers contain press accounts and leaflets pertaining to the protest movement of French students and workers in May-June 1968. There are also significant materials on the years following de Gaulle's resignation as president, including the Mitterrand era. These largely relate to French political parties, election campaigns, and a number of public scandals involving allegations of corruption and bribery.
    The Correspondence series contains a large general file that is arranged chronologically. This consists largely of letters received by Paillat from the readers of his books, as well as a considerable number of letters from the contacts who provided him information and documents in aid of his research.
    The Writings series of the papers contain the drafts of many of Paillat's books, as well as his correspondence with his publishers, readers, and those sources who had provided him with information and documents for the writing of his books. In this series, there are also numerous articles written by Paillat during his career as a journalist for the newspaper, Le Canard enchaîné. The articles focus on French politics as well reporting on business trends among French media companies.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    World War, 1939-1945 France.
    France--History--1914-1940.
    France--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.
    France--History--1945-1958.
    France--History--1958-
    France--Politics and government--20th century.
    France--Economic conditions--20th century.
    France--Colonies.