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Muriel Le Roux and Sébastien Richez

Cette brève histoire de la Poste après la Seconde Guerre mondiale a été écrite à partir d’archives publiques de l’administration et de l’entreprise, d’entretiens avec les acteurs, de lecture des rapports de l’Assemblée nationale et du Sénat, de la presse et de documents syndicaux. Les huit contributeurs, spécialistes de l’histoire de la Poste contemporaine, ont scruté cette administration devenue une entreprise afin d’en souligner les singularités et les invariants – les missions de service public – mais aussi expliquer en quoi la Poste a été et reste le miroir de la société française. On y évoque la Poste et ses relations avec l’État, la Poste et son environnement local et international ; cela donne à voir son organisation, son imbrication avec les territoires via l’évolution des transports et des techniques qui sous-tendent ses services. On y découvre aussi la façon dont les postiers ont dû et su composer avec ces changements.
Leurs contributions forment une courte synthèse suggérant une revisite de ce que nous croyions savoir sur cette institution. Loin d’être exhaustif, cet opus a donc pour ambition de lutter contre les idées reçues.
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Muriel Le Roux and Sébastien Richez

The cursus publicus, established by the Roman Empire to connect all its conquered territories, may be considered to be the ancestor of all modern post offices. Therefore, mail service networks are part of an organization, dating from Antiquity, which is common to the entire European community.
From the 18 th century onwards, the French mail service network may be divided into three successive phases. First, the consolidation of the transportation system that was being set up. Second, the development of the system’s ability to deal with increasing traffic (through broader human resources). Thirdly, the diversification of its operations and the development of its technical modernisation.
What was the situation in other European countries? Are there similarities and differences in how their networks were set up and organized? Finally, how did European Post Offices cooperate with each other in spite of their differences?
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A Concise History of the French Post Office

From Its Origins to the Present Time

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Edited by Muriel Le Roux and Sébastien Richez

This edition is the first synthesis published in English, dealing with the general history of the postal services or the Post Office, in France, from the origins to the present time gathering different studies.

Two early books written by one of the first historian of the postal Ancient Regime and promotor of the French postal museum in Paris, Eugène Vaillé, had already founded a large part of the French historiography about the postal issue:Histoire des postes françaises jusqu'à la Révolution (Presses universitaires de France, 1946), Histoire des postes françaises depuis la Révolution (Presses universitaires de France, 1947).

Then, a recent collective work, directed by Muriel Le Roux, historian at the CNRS and Sébastien Richez, historian at the comité pour l’histoire de La Poste, studies the contemporary history of this French administration, transformed in a public company in 1991: Brève histoire de la Poste en France depuis 1945(PIE Peter Lang, 2016).

 

These texts have been translated by Kenneth BERRY for Vaillé, and Georgina BANFIELD for those edited by Le Roux and Richez.