The Algerian war of national liberation(1954-62), a bitter struggle lasting seven-and-a-half years, tore through the fabric of French society. It put to the test the whole of the French left, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the smaller groupings to their left, inlcuing the tiny organisations of French Trotskyists. This issue of Revolutionary History gives the first full account in English of the part played by the French Trotskyists in providing political and practical solidarity.
This issue contains four chapters from Sylvain Pattieu's book Les Camarades des frères, which, on the basis of documents and interviews with participants, tells the largely unknown story of the Trotskysists and anarchists who took up the Algerian cause earlier than the better-known networks headed by Francis Jeanson and Henri Curiel. This is supplemented with a number of documents tracing the positions of the various currents of the French far left, including a remarkable interview with two militants active in the Renault-Billancourt factory during the war.
There is also an extract from Fritz Keller's book describing action in Austria to encourage desertion from the Foreign Legion, and an account of the Labour MP John Baird, who was heavily involved in support work. The volume concludes with an essay tracing the continuities between the isolated opposition to the Algerian war and the mass movement that erupted in May 1968.
- From the back cover