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Provides the first sustained analysis of the collision between Marxism and nationalism in France at the time of the Dreyfus affair.
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Post-Marxists argue that nationalism is the black hole into which Marxism has collapsed at today’s "end of history." Robert Stuart analyzes the origins of this implosion, revealing a shattering collision between Marxist socialism and national identity in France at the close of the nineteenth century. During the time of the Boulanger crisis and the Dreyfus affair, nationalist mobs roamed the streets chanting "France for the French!" while socialist militants marshaled proletarians for world revolution. This is the first study to focus on those militants as they struggled to reconcile Marxism’s two national agendas: the cosmopolitan conviction that "workingmen have no country," on the one hand, and the patriotic assumption that the working class alone represents national authenticity, on the other. Anti-Semitism posed a particular problem for such socialists, not least because so many workers had succumbed to racist temptation. In analyzing the resultant encounter between France’s anti-Semites and the Marxist Left, Stuart addresses the vexed issue of Marxism’s involvement with political anti-Semitism.
"This is an enormously learned, thorough book on an important topic—nationalism and xenophobia versus international solidarity in the French nineteenth-century labor movement. It will become a standard reference for years to come." — Marcel van der Linden, International Institute of Social History and author of Transnational Labour History
"This sophisticated textual analysis addresses a major historical question: Did national socialism have roots in the far (Marxist) Left? Insofar as French Marxists have not received the kind of attention that their German or Russian counterparts have, the book fills a gap. Enormously useful is Stuart’s correction of the easily held view that these French Marxists were anti-Semitic; he demonstrates that they were not." — Leslie Derfler, author of Paul Lafargue and the Flowering of French Socialism, 1882–1911About the Author:
Robert Stuart is Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia and the author of Marxism at Work: Ideology, Class, and French Socialism during the Third Republic.
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