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(2011) May 68, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Inventing a memory on the extreme left

the example of the Maoists after 1968

Philippe Buton

pp. 58-75

There are two difficulties in analysing the "1968 years". The first lies in the numerous distinctions which have to be made between Paris and the provinces, students and workers, men and women, ordinary activists and their leaders, political organizations and non-political participants. The second lies in the many layers of myth which, whether they execrate or celebrate the events, carry such heavy political baggage that they remain impervious to argument. In this chapter I want to take as my starting point one of these myths proffered by an observer of the period, the journalist Philippe Gildas, who claims today that "everyone struggled to ensure that the generations which followed would not tip into violence."1 This vision of the pacific nature of the extreme left of this period seems to me quite wrong at least for the strand of it that will be studied here: the leaders of that Maoist tendency who dubbed themselves "Marxist-Leninist".

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9780230319561_5

Full citation:

Buton, P. (2011)., Inventing a memory on the extreme left: the example of the Maoists after 1968, in J. Jackson, A. Milne & J. Williams (eds.), May 68, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 58-75.

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