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Responses to ModernityEssays in the Politics of Culture$
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Joseph Frank

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239252

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.001.0001

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French Intellectuals between the Wars

French Intellectuals between the Wars

(p.96) 8. French Intellectuals between the Wars
Responses to Modernity

Joseph Frank

Fordham University Press

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

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