In This Review

The Left Bank: Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War
The Left Bank: Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War
By Herbert R. Lottman
Houghton Mifflin, 1982, 319 pp

A collective history of the great and less great figures of French intellectual life in the years of anti-fascism, of the temptations of Stalinism and, later, of collaborationism, and of the postwar intellectual conflicts. Malraux, Gide, Sartre, Aragon et al. dominate these pleasantly informative, gently disillusioning pages. From his Vichy prison, Jean Zay, Léon Blum's Minister of Education, wrote: "If a few great writers save honor by the dignity of their silence, how many others, and not the least among them, rush to serve the new gods, curiously forgetting their past and their own works."