| IMMIGRANTS & INTELLECTUALS|
May '68 & the Rise of Anti-Racism in France
by Daniel A. Gordon
This book tells, for the first time, the full story of the rise and fall of a cycle of protest movements for the rights of migrant workers from 1961 to 1983. Based on more than a decade of research in France, including special access to normally closed police archives, it reveals an encounter between two worlds, the immigrant and the intellectual.
Highlighting links to international struggles from Portugal to Senegal, this book considers reactions to the massacre of Algerians in Paris in 1961; uncovers the hidden history of migrant worker participation in the general strike of 1968; shows how activists built creches for immigrants' children and asks: how did immigrants view the New Left militants who sought to politicize them? It recounts how a hunger strike by a Tunisian activist leader in 1972 sparked a movement which mobilized some of France's best-known thinkers from Sartre to Foucault, and brought this civil rights campaign into mainstream politics.
After showing how the dreams of '68 were buried and recycled, Gordon concludes with the legacy of this story for the politics of migration and the politics of protest today in France and beyond.
This book is a fundamental contribution to an understanding of the process which led immigrant workers in France to become politically conscious. - Professor Alain Romey, University of Nice.
A significant contribution to our understanding of French political and social history. - Dr Jim House, Director, Centre for French and Francophone Cultural Studies, University of Leeds.
Gordon's new book, subtitled "May '68 and the Rise of Anti-Racism in France" is to be welcomed. It covers the period from the end of the Algerian war to 1983, and is based on over ten years' work, using both archival material and interviews and discussions with participants. The bibliography alone is a valuable research resource. Yet while the book is scholarly in the best sense of the term, it is not academic in the worst sense. It is clearly written, without jargon and full of detailed examples, and makes clear the author's passionate personal involvement in his material. Revolutionary History
Generally speaking, Immigrants and Intellectuals is an excellent work. Whilst being well written and impressively researched, Gordons notable talent as an historian breathes life in to this period and illuminates a perspective of May 68 that is rarely acknowledged. He does well to show the sense of optimism and the legacy that endured well beyond the strikes themselves, and masterfully dispels the myth that May 68 was a purely French affair. With frequent references to figures such as Sartre, de Beauvoir, Foucault, Debray, de Gaulle, Jospin, and Mitterrand, in addition to less well-known figures such as Djellali Ben Ali and Saïd Bouziri, Gordon also provides a cast of characters that Tolkien would have been proud of. French History
A contribution of the first order to the historiography of the '68 years ... Enters immigration into the history of 68, and 68 into the history of immigration. Vingtième Siècle
We owe a debt to Daniel A. Gordon for having written a valuable chapter into the story of immigration and anti-racism in France. History Workshop Journal
A superbly well-researched and readable study that goes a long way towards contributing to a better understanding of the 1968 events. Modern and Contemporary France
Daniel A. Gordon was awarded the Alistair Horne Fellowship at St Antony's College, Oxford, to write this book. He is Senior Lecturer in European History at Edge Hill University and a former Entente Cordiale Scholar.
Paperback, 368 pages.
Published March 2012