France 1949-1959
Intellectual Life

France 1959-1968
the Economy
France 1959-1968
Foreign Policy

France 1959-1968 : Intellectual Life

French intellectuals such as JEAN PAUL SARTRE, the dominant figure of EXISTENTIALISM (Nobel Prize for Literature 1963) spoke out against atrocities committed by the OAS, a secret organization strongly supported by the French army, in Algeria. The French intellectual community strongly tended toward an idealist marxism/communism, was critical of AUTHORITARIANISM, blamed authoritarian structures for failures resp. developments gone wrong in the past, such as the Vichy Administration, France's failure to prevent the German victory in 1940, colonialism. Late in the 1960es a SUBCULTURE emerged. Many young persons, rejecting capitalism, consumerism, authoritarianism, tried to establish a new society based on freedom of traditional convention, a so-called ALTERNATIVE SOCIETY. The field of the experiment was the commune, seen as an alternative to the family, where property was shared, the conventional idea of partnership was replaced by the concept of free love.
France was less overwhelmed by Anglo-American pop culture than the countries of central and northern Europe, her CHANSONS holding their own against competition from the Beatles and others. MIREILLE MATHIEU joined Edith Piaf (who deceased in 1963), Jacquel Brel, Charles Aznavour as star of the French chanson scene. The French movie industry continued to produce high quality movies, starring BRIGIT BARDOT, and others. The emergence of tv, however, caused the decline of the cinema.

France continued her policy of granting asylum to persons fleeing political oppression. It attracted intellectual refugees, such as Greek composer MIKIS THEODORAKIS who fled the dictatorship in Greece.

In 1968 the Olympic Winter Games were held in GRENOBLE, French skier JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY winning 3 gold medals.

The Strangest Betrayal : How the Communists halted the French Revolution of 1968, from Jesse Friedman
France : The General Strike of 1968, from All about Anarchism
REFERENCE Roger Price, A Concise History of France, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, pp.228-246
W. Scott Haine, The History of France, Greenwood Histories of Modern Nations, 2000, pp.172-191
Article : France, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1961 pp.282-285, 1962 pp.275-277, 1963 pp.388-391, 1964 pp.379-381, 1965 pp.373-375, 1966 pp.327-330, 1967 pp.353-357, 1968 pp.357-360, 1969 pp.353-356 [G]
Article : France, in : Americana Annual 1961 pp.279-285, 1962 pp.280-286, 1963 pp.258-264, 1964 pp.254-259, 1965 pp.284-288, 1967 pp.286-293, 1968 pp.279-285, 1969 pp.298-305 [G]
Article : France, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1961 pp.124-127 [G]

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First posted in 2001, last revised on March 30th 2007

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