Chapter

French Intellectuals between the Wars

Joseph Frank

in Responses to Modernity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.003.0009
French Intellectuals between the Wars

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Herbert Lottman's book on writers, artists, and politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War is a lively and valuable contribution to the sociocultural history of the recent past. No one who grew up during this period, like the present writer, can read it without a surge of old memories and a twinge of nostalgia. Not that one wishes the past it evokes—a past which includes the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Spanish Civil War, the fall of France, the almost complete conquest of Europe by the Nazis, the revelations of the Holocaust, and then the explosion of the first atomic bomb and the Cold War—to come back to life. The rise of fascism and Nazism did not incline one to dwell too insistently on the shortcomings of the Soviet Union; and the French intellectuals of the Left Bank were drawn to one or another of these opposing political poles with irresistible force. Rare were those who, while still taking an active part in political life, managed to retain any genuine independence.

Keywords: Herbert Lottman; intellectuals; France; fascism; Soviet Union; Left Bank; Cold War; Nazism; Adolf Hitler

Chapter.  4185 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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