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Choice and Democratic Order: The French Socialist Party, 1937-1950 (Hardback)
  • Choice and Democratic Order: The French Socialist Party, 1937-1950 (Hardback)
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Choice and Democratic Order: The French Socialist Party, 1937-1950 (Hardback)

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£82.00
Hardback 448 Pages / Published: 19/05/1994
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Choice and Democratic Order applies theories of group conflicts within political parties in a discussion of the internal politics of the French Socialist Party (SFIO) from the late 1930s to the 1940s. Having analysed the formal and informal structure of the party in 1937, Professor Graham gives a detailed account of the clash which took place between the leadership and two dissenting groups, the Gauche Revolutionnaire and the Bataille Socialiste, prior to the Royan congress of June 1938. This conflict is compared with that which occurred in the post-war party during 1946, when Guy Mollet led a successful revolt against the party leaders and became General Secretary of the organization after the 38th National Congress. Mollet began with the intention of preserving the existing alliance with the Communists, but as the latter moved into opposition he accepted the necessity of the centre alliance, the so-called 'Third Force' in French politics.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521414029
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 770 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'... a monument to scrupulous scholarship and authoritative judgement ...'. International Affairs
"The value of this book lies essentially in three dimensions. First, it offers a clear picture of the changing balance of power inside the SFIO during this period, not only in the horizontal dimension of groups and factions but also from the vertical perspective of local federations. Second, it demonstrates compellingly under what conditions internal divisions come to a head and what factions made possible the different outcomes in 1938 and 1946; in this respect, the importance of firm and decisive leadership is rightly pinpointed. Finally, and more broadly, it provides an engrossing portrait of the politcal culture of French Socialism, and particularly the manner in which the party sought (without always succeeding) to reconcile apparently conflicting aspirations and values: revolution and reform, unity and diversity, working-class loyalty and middle-class support." Journal of Modern History
"This is a story which has been told before, but never in quite as exhaustive detail as in Choice and the Democratic Order. The book has been a long time in the making, beginning life as a postgraduate research project carried out between 1958 and 1962. It complements Graham's earlier study, The French Socialists and Tripartisme, published in 1965. No previous scholar has demonstrated Graham's mastery of the massive body of official party literature-- debates, resolutions, motions, tracts, conference reports and the like--and his blow-by-blow account of the internal power struggles of 1938 and 1946 may be regarded as definitive." Times Literary Supplement
"...historians will find the study as a whole to be a penetrating inquiry into the French Socialist Party's structure, functioning, doctrinal ambiguities, personality clashes, and relationships with other parties,,,set in a meaningful broader context. Graham, moreover, has energetically tracked down the relevant documents, many at the level of the party's departmental federations, and has effectively used a wide variety of secondary accounts as well." Joel Colton, American Historical Review
"Choice and Democratic Order is an excellent, extremely detailed guide thorugh the convoluted internal politics of the French Socialist Party (SFIO) during a crucial period in the party's history from 1937-1950....The book serves several useful purposes." Lunne Taylor, Social History

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