Examining the emergence and subsequent demise of intellectual identification with the French Communist Party between 1945 and 1989, Sudhir Hazareesingh argues that, after 1978, political conflicts between the Communist leadership and party intellectuals led to an erosion of support. These conflicts were sharpened by the party's institutional decline during the 1980s. Dr Hazareesingh links these internal factors with wider ideological changes
during the 1970s and 1980s: the decreasing relevance of class-based politics, the explosion of the myth of radical change, the reconsideration of the goals of political commitment, and, finally, the rejection of the Soviet model, all contributed significantly to an altered political
climate. Based on a critical examination of the available literature, in both French and English, this systematic exploration of the role of intellectuals in French politics also explains why this social group has been so prominent in public life throughout the modern era.
`supremely well researched ... In the marshalling of evidence to support his analysis Hazareesingh shows masterly control of his material ... Well structured, closely argued and based on a wide variety of sources, this book represents scholarship of the highest order'
Raymond Kuhn, Times Higher Education Supplement
'This is a particularly valuable contribution, since much less work has been done to relate internal aspects to the Party's present predicament.'
Marja van Diggelen, Portsmouth Polytechnic, Modern and Contemporary France, No. 49, April 1992
'This is a look at an important topic - the commitment of French intellectuals to the communist cause. There have been several books on the subject before (and recently, quite a few in French), but none quite as systematic or analytical ... this is a significant book.'
D.S. Bell, Leeds University, West European Politics, Vol. 13, No. 3, July '92
`a valediction of a fascinating aspect of the life and times of this most Stalinist of West European Communist Parties'
`the publication of Hazareesingh's doctoral thesis on the demise of the influence of the French Communist Party ... which until recently was the intellectual engine room of the Left, is timely ... The references and bibliography are comprehensive and the index is thorough and detailed. This book is a 'must' for all students of the rapidly disintegrating international communist movement.'
Bob Swan, Australia and World Affairs, No. 18, Spring 1993
`The product of lengthy and careful research ... Bell and Criddle's general line of argument is persuasive, and their style of presentation is quite clear ... this book represents an important contribution to our understanding of the French Communist Party, its functioning during the Fifth Republic, and the reasons why it has declined.'
Stephen D. Carls, Union University, The Historian
Introduction: The withering away of Communist intellectuals; Intellectuals and politics in France; French intellectuals and the Communist party: roots of affiliation; The unity and diversity of Communist intellectuals; The crisis of 1978-1980 in historical perspective; The limits of subjectivity: Communist intellectuals and the working class; A party like all others?; The undermining of allegiances; Communist internationalism revisited; The changing ideological
context of the 1980s; Conclusion: The bounds of optimism; Appendix: Table of main events 1945-1989