Marc Ferro

Resentment in History Publication date : October 2, 2008

Resentment is not confined to individuals; it also motivates human groups. How many international conflicts fail to be resolved, and persist as if through inertia, because of the resentments they have engendered? The numerous conflicts in the former Yugoslavia between communities whose only difference is one of religion is but one example. Another is colonisation, which has often resulted in lasting resentment toward former colonial powers such as France.

In this book, Marc Ferro reveals the historical role of resentment. He argues that although historians have largely ignored resentment as a motive, it sometimes provides the only plausible explanation. After delving into philosophy in an attempt to understand the psychological underpinnings of resentment, Ferro shows how, in a dozen different national and social conflicts, feelings of resentment provide the key to understanding the deadlocked character of a given problem and the failure to resolve it.

Always on the lookout for new approaches, Ferro has opened a new avenue for historical researchers — historical psychology.

This new book, by one of the most brilliant historians of his generation, will further readers' understanding of African demands for reparations against slavery or of Algerian claims against French colonialism.

The book is amply illustrated with gripping examples from social and political history.

Marc Ferro is a historian and a director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He is the author of Histoire de France (2001), Le Choc de l'islam (2002) and Les Individus face aux crises du XXe siècle (2005).