In This Review

Socialism of a Different Kind: Reshaping the Left in France
Socialism of a Different Kind: Reshaping the Left in France
By Bernard E. Brown
Greenwood Press, 1982, 201 pp

A book with several themes: the ideological changes in the Socialist and Communist parties in the 1970s, the rivalry and intermittent, hostile cooperation between them, and the place of "autogestion," or workers'-citizens' control, as a principal idea of the French Left. "The great virtue of autogestion is its ambiguity," the author suggests. The idea was born again in the anarchist-surrealist drama of 1968, as was its American analogue, participatory democracy. In this ponderous but useful account, Brown, an American specialist on French politics, reconstructs part of the background to Mitterrand's victory and reminds us that Mitterrand's rule marks a potentially profound change in French society.