Philippe Herzog and Jean-Louis Moynot were members of the top leaderships of the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) and the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), respectively. Each participated in and lived through the dramatic years from the 1960s through the 1980s when both organizations first supported Union de la Gauche and then turned away from it, eventually precipitating both into decline in ways that would transform eventually the French political and trade union left. The strategic shifts underlying these deep and significant changes were traumatic for those who lived through them. Herzog and Moynot have recently published memoirs detailing their experiences of this period and their political lives thereafter. Both books, in different ways, give us new and important understandings of what happened during a critical moment of change in French politics.
George Ross is ad personam Chaire Jean Monnet and Visiting Professor of Political Science at the Université de Montréal. He is also Professor Emeritus in Labor and Social Thought at Brandeis University and Faculty Associate of the Minda de Gunsburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He was also co-founder, with Stanley Hoffmann, of this journal.