Is Socialism Doomed?: The Meaning of Mitterrand

Daniel Singer, Author Oxford University Press, USA $35 (334p) ISBN 978-0-19-504925-1
Elected president of France in 1981, Socialist Francois Mitterrand did not usher in the sweeping transformation that many in the French Left had expected. Singer, who writes for the Nation, views the socialist experiment in France as almost doomed to failure. The leftists, once in power, lacked support; they addressed stagnation and mass unemployment with placebos; they reneged on promises to overhaul France's elitist school system; and their long avoidance of acknowledging racism and xenophobia even within their own ranks caught up with them. Mitterrand became a figurehead, upholder of the existing power structure and Reagan's closest ally on the Euromissiles issue. Singer's lucid, engrossing analysis offers a remarkable, from-the-ground-up view of French society today. He also assesses European nations' search for ways to resist U.S. economic and political pressures. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
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