The Fall of Paris

By Ilya EhrenburgKNOPF
As Ehrenburg sees it, the fall of Paris and hence of France began in 1935, and from then on until the collapse French politics became what he calls “a mutual benefit society of deception.” Involved in the gradual weakening of France were the Paris strikes of 1936, the maintenance of neutrality in the Spanish Civil War, the Munich Pact, the “phony war,” and above all else the fear of Communism shared by the French industrialists and the political leaders. As the Communists became more active, the Rightists became what Ehrenburg calls Fascist, and general mistrust prevailed.
The story makes great demands on one’s knowledge of recent French political history, for it is a story of warring political ideas, a story in which the heroes are young Communists fighting for lost causes after having been betrayed by their leaders. The total picture created here of deception, mistrust, and intrigue is unforgettable. This analytical and exciting story is a distinguished addition to the literature of the fall of France.