Intellectuals, Pacifism and Communism: The Mandarins and the Struggle for Peace (1914–53)

  • Yves Santamaria
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


A matter of months before having to face up to the crisis engendered by the abortive August 1991 coup in the Soviet Union, the French Communist Party (PCF) believed itself capable of restoring at least part of its declining support by participating in the anti-war movement associated with the conflict in the Gulf. Despite the favourable signs created by opinion polls which indicated the existence of a strong pacifist sentiment, this initiative came to nothing, and this for the simple reason that, as with the previous campaign against the Euromissiles in the 1980s, it succeeded in evoking a wave of anti-Munich sentiment amongst what was probably a majority of France’s intellectuals.1 Not only did this episode illustrate both the importance and the limits of the autonomy enjoyed by the world of the intellectual in times of national crisis but it was also added proof of the divorce that had taken place between France’s intelligentsia and communism.


Communist Party Fellow Traveller Peace Movement Communist Movement French Communist Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See here the special issue of Pouvoirs, 58, January-March 1991, devoted to La France dans la guerre as well as M. Winock, ‘Le pacifisme à la française (1789–1991)’. L’Histoire, 144. 1991, pp. 34–55.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Courtois, ‘Le système communiste international et la lutte pour la paix, 1917–1939’, Relations internationales, 53, 1988, pp. 5–22.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Verdès-Leroux, Au service du Parti: Le parti communiste, les intellectuels et la culture (1944–1956) (Paris, 1983) p. 21.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Quoted in A. Glucksman, Europe 2004 (Paris, 1979) p. 472.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Winock, ‘Au nom de la Pairie’, L’Histoire, 107, 1988, p. 18.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 28 (Moscow, 1965) pp. 62–75.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    N. Racine, ‘Pacifisme, socialisme et communisme naissant: Quelques documents concernant les intellectuels 1914–1920’, Communisme, 18–19, 1988, pp. 34–49.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    V. Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary 1901–1941 (Oxford, 1975) p. 61.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    D. Caute, Communism and the French Intellectuals (London, 1964) p. 65.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    J-J. Becker, ‘La revue Clarté’, in O. Barrot and P. Ory (eds), Entre deux guerres (Paris, 1990) pp. 59–76.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    N. Racine, ‘Une revue d’intellectuels communistes dans les années vingt: Clarté (1921–1928)’, Revue Française des Sciences Politiques, 1967, pp. 484–519.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J. Relinger, ‘Henri Barbusse dans les années vingt: pour une nouvelle conception de l’intellectuel?’, in D. Bonnaud-Lamotte and J-L. Rispail (eds), Intellectuels des années trente (Paris, 1989) pp. 83–8.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    J-F. Sirinelli, Intellectuels et passions françaises: manifestes et pétitions au XXe siècle (Paris, 1990) pp. 62–3.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    S. Cannone, ‘De la ‘lutte pour la paix’ à la ‘defense de l’URSS’: le débat sur le danger de guerre dans le Komintern 1926–1927’, Communisme, 18–19, 1988, pp. 50–70.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Tartakowsky, review of C. Serrano, L’ enjeu espagnol: PCF et guerre d’Espagne, Cahiers d’Histoire de l’Institut de Recherches Marxistes, 29, 1987, p. 161.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    C. Jelen, Histoire ou Staline, le prix de la paix (Paris, 1988), pp. 172–83.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    D. Caute, The Fellow-Travellers (London, 1973) pp. 185–99.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    M. Winock, ‘L’âge d’or des intellectuels’, L’Histoire, 83, 1985, p. 28.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    O. Lecour-Grandmaison, ‘Le Mouvement de la paix pendant la guerre froide: le cas français, 1948–1952’, Communisme, 18–19, 1988, pp. 120–38.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    A. Kriegel. Ce que j’ai cru comprendre (Paris. 1991) p. 503.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    G. Malaurie and E. Terrée, L’affaire Kravchenko: Le Goulag en correctionnelle (Paris, 1982).Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    P. Rigoulet, La guerre de Corée: images et implications politiques en France (D.E.A., Ecole des Hautes Etudes, 1990).Google Scholar
  23. 25.
    P. Grémion, ‘Le rouge et le gris: les intellectuels français et le monde soviétique’, Commentaire, 24, 1983–4, pp. 767–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 26.
    T. Judt, Marxism and the French Left (Oxford, 1986) p. 174.Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    J-L. Crémieux-Brilhac, Les Français de l’an 40 (Paris, 1990) 2 vols.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Santamaria

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations