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The Left Bank

Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War

This story begins in the Paris of the 1930s, when artists and writers stood at the center of the world stage. In the decade that saw the rise of the Nazis, much of the thinking world sought guidance from this extraordinary group of intellectuals. Herbert Lottman’s chronicle follows the influential players—Gide, Malraux, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Koestler, Camus, and their pro-Fascist counterparts—through the German occupation, Liberation, and into the Cold War, when the struggle between superpowers all but drowned out their voices.

"Surprisingly fresh and intense. . . . A retrospective travelogue of the Left Bank in the days when it was the setting for almost all French intellectual activity. . . . Absorbing."—Naomi Bliven, New Yorker

"As an introduction to a period in French history already legendary, The Left Bank is superb."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

"An intellectual history. A history of the interaction between politics and letters. And a rumination on the limitless credulity of intellectuals."—Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman

336 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1981

History: General History

Table of Contents

Curtain Raiser
Part 1 - The Setting
1. Moving In
2. Making Friends
3. At Home
4. Place of Work, Place of Play
5. Smaller Worlds
Part II - The Thirties
6. Founding Fathers
7. Engagement with Moscow
8. Engagement in Moscow
9. Right and Center
10. Unity of Action
11. In Defense of Culture
12. Malraux and the Intellectuals’ War
13. Gide’s Return
14. Plunging into Barbarity
15. Fleeing the Left Bank
Part III - The German Years
16. Capturing the N.R.F.
17. Paris vs. Vichy
18. The Structures of Collaboration
19. Everybody Collaborated
20. The Resistance, Through the Looking Glass
21. Midnight Presses
22. CNE and Company
23. Topography of German Paris
24. Parisians Far from Paris
25. Liberation
Part IV - 1944 and After
26. Picking Up the Pieces
27. Consequences
28. New Faces and Old
29. Changing Saint-Germain-des-Prés
30. The Parting of Ways
31. Communists and Anti-Communists
32. Cold Warfare
33. No Third Way

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