Marianne Is Watching

Marianne Is Watching

Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and the Origins of the French Surveillance State

Studies in War, Society, and the Military

by Deborah Bauer

Published by: Nebraska

342 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 6 photographs, 5 illustrations, 1 appendix, index

  • ISBN: 9781496223722
  • Published: December 2021

£52.00

Professional intelligence became a permanent feature of the French state as a result of the army’s June 8, 1871, reorganization following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Intelligence practices developed at the end of the nineteenth century without direction or oversight from elected officials, and yet the information gathered had a profound influence on the French population and on pre–World War I Europe more broadly.

In Marianne Is Watching Deborah Bauer examines the history of French espionage and counterespionage services in the era of their professionalization, arguing that the expansion of surveillance practices reflects a change in understandings of how best to protect the nation. By leading readers through the processes and outcomes of professionalizing intelligence in three parts—covering the creation of permanent intelligence organizations within the state; the practice of intelligence; and the place of intelligence in the public sphere—Bauer fuses traditional state-focused history with social and cultural analysis to provide a modern understanding of intelligence and its role in both state formation and cultural change.

With this first English-language book-length treatment of the history of French intelligence services in the era of their inception, Bauer provides a penetrating study not just of the security establishment in pre–World War I France but of the diverse social climate it nurtured and on which it fed.