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Maurice Thorez

Why the French Popular Front Failed

Now that the discredited French Popular Front is out of office and in dissolution, the people who originated it are busy holding inquests and explaining why it failed. The Communists take a simple line. The Daily Worker (June 1st, 1939) says that the Front “suffered a setback because the whole force of British reaction was launched against it and there was no British Popular Front to rally to its defence.” This is a half-truth that is both untimely and unconvincing. Among the fairly consistent defenders of the French Popular Front Government was the London Times; and if the success of the Popular Front in France depended wholly on events in Great Britain, the proper time to say so was in 1936 before the Popular Front took office. At that date, however, the French Communists were in the Popular Front themselves and were making the most extravagant forecasts of its success.

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