Mehring Books is pleased to feature two works from its catalog on the history of the struggles of the French working class—Whither France by Leon Trotsky and French Workers in Revolt by David Walsh. Both are important reading for those seeking to understand the political questions raised by the mass strikes now taking place in France in opposition to the policies of the Sarkozy government.
Whither France contains a series of articles written by Leon Trotsky in the period 1934-1936. He analyzes the economic and political crisis besetting the country from the installation of the right-wing Doumergue government in 1934, through the election of the Popular Front government of Leon Blum in 1936, to the ensuing mass general strike. Trotsky provides a devastating critique of the program of the social democrats and the Stalinist Communist Party, which sought to tie the working class to the left bourgeois parties through the Popular Front policy, thus saving French capitalism.
David Walsh’s French Workers in Revolt analyzes the strike wave that hit France in November-December 1995, directed against the right-wing government of President Jacque Chirac and Alain Juppé. At that time, millions of working people took to the streets in an effort to resist a widespread assault on social security, pensions, health care benefits, jobs and working conditions.
Consisting of a series of articles originally published in the International Workers Bulletin, the pamphlet contains on-the-spot coverage, interviews and analysis, including a withering assessment of the treacherous role played by the trade unions, the Socialist Party and its “left” supporters. Many of the figures and political tendencies that Walsh critiqued in 1995 continue to figure in current events in France, making this pamphlet especially valuable. Chapter titles include such themes as, “What sparked the strike movement?”, “How the labour bureaucracy stifled the strike movement”, and “The culture of opportunism”.
Publisher: New Park
Publication Date: 1974
Publication Type: Paperback
ISBN: 0 902030 53 1
Publisher: International Worker
Publication Date: 1996
Publication Type: Pamphlet
ISBN: 1 973045 22 4