The political panorama of the French left was dramatically transformed in the 1970s by the rise of the Socialist Party, the decline of the Communists, and the loss of faith in Marxism. These changes, together with the lessened impact of the industrial proletariat and the problems presented by Mitterrand's sweeping Socialist victory in 1981, signalled a veritable turning point in modern French history. This new collection of essays offers a historical and political analysis of the history of labor, Socialism, and Communism in France since the Revolution, an analysis that is essential for understanding recent French political developments. Unlike most books, which treat labor, Socialist and Communist history separately and view French Marxism as a self-contained philosophical phenomenon, Marxism and the French Left offers a refreshingly different approach to the subject. Judt emphasizes the complex and interwoven themes that unify the topics of his essays to construct a distinctive and original interpretation of French left-wing politics over the past 150 years.
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