The Popular Front in France Defending Democracy 193438

This is the first full length study in English of the Popular Front the left wing coalition which emerged in France during the 1930s in response to the threat of fascism and which went on to win the elections of 1936 giving France her first socialist premier Leon BlumAfter a brief narrative history of the Popular Front the book is organised thematically around the main historiographical debates to which the Popular Front has given rise Among the issues considered are the origins of the strikes of 1936 the reasons for the failure of the Popular Front economic policy the relationship between culture and politics in France in the 1930s and the causes of France's policy of non intervention in the Spanish Civil War The book views the Popular Front at three levels as a mass movement political coalition and government and argues that it must not be seen just as a narrowly political phenomenon but as a political social and cultural explosion which attempted to break down the barriers between all areas of human activity in the highly compartmentalised society of France in the 1930s Even if the Popular Front ultimately failed in this aim it has acquired legendary status in France and the epilogue to the book briefly examines the 'myth' of the Popular Front from 1936 to the present day


10 thoughts on “The Popular Front in France Defending Democracy 193438

  1. says:

    This book is a detailed historical study of the popular front in France An as such it contains many truly interesting historical facts For example Of the three parties that constituted the Popular Front in France only members of the Radical Socialist Party proclaimed the unity of the Left In other words only the Liberal Democratic Party of the classes the classes moyennes were in favor of the frontal congregation of the left parties This book also highlights all the faults the popular front in France made such as the illusion that the achievements of the Matignon Agreement were the result of equal bargaining and not a consequence of the employers' subordination to the strangulation of workers The Popular Front's mistakes also include the semi nationalization of the Bank of France the fact that no People's Front committees were set up in the neighborhoods to reinforce workers' resistance the personal indecision of Prime Minister Leon Bloom and others However this book also shows the positive aspects of the PF In the first place the Popular Front as a tactic was never intended to overthrow capitalism The main aim of the Popular Front was to halt the rise of fascism Hence the definition of anti fascist that Dimitrov always used when referring to the Popular Front And this goal was fulfilled by the Popular Front in France by dismantling the fascist slums that terrorized the people It is important to remember that the French Republic was not overthrown by the internal enemy as in Germany and Italy but by external intervention especially by the Germans in 1940