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Paradigm for Revolution? : the Paris commune, 1871-1971

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Paradigm for Revolution? : the Paris commune, 1871-1971
Date published: 1972
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
In March 1871, in the aftermath of France's humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the workers, radicals, and 'little people' of Paris rose in revolt. The rebels saw themselves as heirs to a great French revolutionary and Parisian tradition, carriers of the demand for popular initiative and popular participation. They were republican, anti-clerical, and, to a large extent, socialist. The Commune of Paris which they proclaimed on 26 March 1871 was dedicated to these principles and beliefs. It has been seen, by some, as the paradigm for the dictatorship of the proletariat and the coming socialist regeneration of mankind. One hundred years after these events, a series of lectures was organised at the Australian National University to consider the meaning of the Paris Commune and its relevance for modern revolutionary theories and hopes. The lectures have been collected here, together with a detailed chronology of the events of the Commune. The collection is of vital interest to students of history and of revolutions, for, in recounting the events of the Paris Commune, it endeavours to assess its significance in world history. It seeks to determine whether the Commune was a unique event in the history of France - or Paris - or a symbolic rehearsal for a future social revolution.


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