European Parliament Library

Maurice Thorez, a biography, John Bulaitis

Maurice Thorez (1900-1964) was a major figure in the history of twentieth-century France and European Communism for over three decades. Under his leadership, the French Communist Party (PCF) became France's largest political party and one of the most important communist parties in the Western world. Born in a mining village and leaving school at the age of 12, Thorez's rapid rise in the PCF paralleled Stalin's consolidation of power in the Soviet Union. After the Second World War, he became a minister and, briefly, deputy prime minister, before the Cold War excluded communists from political power. The PCF became known as 'the party of Maurice Thorez', an expression of the leader cult around Thorez that mirrored the 'cult of personality' around Stalin. This book, based on a wealth of original source material including Thorez's diaries and notebooks, is the only biography of Thorez available in English. John Bulaitis outlines how Thorez's political life intersected with, and was shaped by, key historical events. Chapters are devoted to the Popular Front, the World War II years (spent in the Soviet Union), the trauma of the 1956 Hungarian Revolt and the crisis prompted by the Algerian War. The book also examines Thorez's role as a leading player within the world communist movement. At its heart, the book explores the paradox of the mass communist movement in France: its ability to fuse attachment to the French nation with fervent loyalty to the Soviet Union and Stalinist practices
Table Of Contents
Cover - Author Biography - Title Page - Copyright - Contents - List of Plates - Acknowledgements - Series Foreword - Introduction Thorez in the Biographical Matrix - 1 -- Young Man in a Hurry - Childhood in a mining community - Teenage refugee - The birth of French communism - Private Maurice Thorez - Young militant - Member of the left faction - Regional leader - Trade unionist - 2 -- The Hesitant Revolutionary - Lyon Congress - Maurice Thorez: Trotskyist - 'Notre bon collaborateur' - In the Russian capital - Campaign against war in Morocco - Maurice Thorez: Zinovievist - Stalin against Thorez - Lille Congress
Literary Form
non fiction
First edition.
Physical Description
1 online resource (376 pages)
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item

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