Reconciling France Against Democracy: The Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Francais, 1927-1945

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Overview

Previous studies of the Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Fran&ccedile;ais have focused on whether these groups should be considered fascist. In Reconciling France against Democracy Sean Kennedy considers them from a variety of perspectives and assesses the extent to which they foreshadowed Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National.

Kennedy shows that the Croix de Feu promised to restore patriotic unity to France but instead demonized the nation's enemies as unfit to be French. Its successor, the Parti Social Fran&ccedile;ais, professed a respect for democracy but actually promoted an authoritarian nationalist vision. Despite its ideological similarities to Vichy, the Parti Social Fran&ccedile;ais was marginalized by the regime and its leader, La Rocque, was imprisoned by the Germans. Kennedy explores the ideology and tactics of La Rocque and his followers to show how authoritarian nationalist groups can fail to attain power, yet still exert a profound influence on a nation's political culture.

"Many scholars have portrayed La Rocque as too 'legalistic' and too republican to be either a fascist or an authoritarian conservative. Kennedy presents a good deal of new evidence to the contrary - a major blow to the standard French interpretation." Robert Soucy, history, Oberlin College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773532052
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Kennedy is associate professor, history, at the University of New Brunswick.
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Table of Contents

Tables vii

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations xiii

Illustrations xv

Introduction 3

1 Vers le six février, 1927-1934 17

2 Against the Popular Front, 1934-1936 51

3 La Famille Croix de Feu 85

4 A Turbulent Transition, 1936-1937 120

5 Remaking the Republic? 1938-1939 157

6 Anticipating the État Social Fran&ccedile;ais 189

7 War and Dispersion, 1939-1945 225

Epilogue 259

Notes 271

Bibliography 321

Index 343

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