"Pike takes a micro-level approach, exploring acts of resistance from the earliest days of Vichy rule and Occupation through to the Liberation...These stories never fail to be insightful."

Doctor David Lees, University of Warwick - Reviewed in Modern and Contemporary France, June 2020

“Pacey and engaging, this study explores the drama and complexity of the German occupation and resistance, highlighting moral ambiguities, deceit, betrayal and violence. A fascinating contribution to the field.”

Professor Robert Gildea, University of Oxford, author of Fighters in the Shadows and Marianne in Chains

“By focusing on a single area of France - the Dordogne - Robert Pike has not only produced a meticulously researched and valuable contribution to the history of the German occupation, but a reminder of how courageously and selflessly many ordinary French men and women behaved”

Caroline Moorehead, author of Village of Secrets and A Train in Winter

"This vivid and evocative account of the Resistance in Dordogne details the exploits of some remarkable personalities and makes us acutely aware of their courage and the dangers they faced. Robert Pike is to be applauded for bringing these stories to a wider readership."

Professor Hanna Diamond, University of Cardiff, author of Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 and Women and the Second World War in France, 1939-1948: Choices and Constraints

‘‘Using the pioneer work of local French historians in tracking down ex-Resisters, and doing his own interviews, Robert Pike has produced a book on the largely rural Dordogne full of specific names and places and pulsating with action and detailed stories.’’

Professor Rod Kedward, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Sussex, Author of La Vie en Bleu. France and the French since 1900, and In Search of the Maquis, Rural Resistance in Southern France 1942-1944.

"Defying Vichy takes us into the heart of the French Resistance: the Dordogne region. Using eyewitness accounts and archival material, Robert Pike skilfully shows how ordinary people responded to the German occupation: some heroically, others less so. Above all, this story is rooted in the towns, villages and wooded hillsides of the Dordogne, which Pike knows so well, and which come alive in this moving account of the darkest and brightest period in French history."

Professor Matthew Cobb, University of Manchester, author of The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis  and Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944.


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out now

Coming Early 2021


Silent Village

Life and Death in Occupied France


The story of Oradour-sur-Glane

"Exactly the kind of micro-history relating to Occupation and Resistance that needs to be done...Still more, it is a remarkable social and cultural case-study"
Professor Rod Kedward, author of In Search of the Maquis

The village of Oradour-sur-Glane and its museum, the Centre de la Mémoire, is open to the public all year round. It is found twenty kilometres to the west of Limoges in Haute-Vienne, France.


© 2017 by Robert Pike

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For any media inquiries, please contact Caitlin Kirkman at The History Press