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The wind from the east : French intellectuals, the cultural revolution, and the legacy of the 1960s /
Richard Wolin.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2010.
description
xiv, 391 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691129983 (hardcover : acid-free paper), 9780691129983 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2010.
isbn
0691129983 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9780691129983 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
contents note
Part 1. The hour of rebellion -- Showdown at Bruay-en-Artois -- France during the 1960s -- May '68 : the triumph of libidinal politics -- Who were the Maoists? -- Excursus : the sectarian Maoism of Alain Badiou -- Part 2. The hour of the intellectuals -- Jean-Paul Sartre's perfect Maoist moment -- Tel quel in cultural-political hell -- Foucault and the Maoists : biopolitics and engagement -- The impossible heritage : from cultural revolution to associational democracy.
catalogue key
7267651
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [371]-383) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Most accounts of 1968 in Paris are either bathed in nostalgia or marinated in disappointment. We are thus all in Richard Wolin's debt for his careful and dispassionate account of those years. The Wind from the East is by far the best history I have read in any language of the Maoist moment in France. Sympathetic without being apologetic, Wolin is particularly deft at evaluating the heritage of France's controversial cultural revolution for contemporary politics. No one interested in the upheavals of the sixties should miss this book."-- Tony Judt, author of Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 "Richard Wolin has written a fascinating account of the French Left's Maoist moment, which pays all due attention to its follies and fantasies, but also manages to capture and to value its liberating effects."-- Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study "The imperative to unify theory and practice has often led intellectuals down garden paths, perhaps none as hazardous as the one followed in the l960s by the French thinkers who embraced Mao's Cultural Revolution from afar. With understanding for their motivations, exasperation for their self-delusions, and appreciation for the unintended consequences of their actions, Richard Wolin recounts with sympathetic irony the follies and glories of intellectual commitment at its most extreme."-- Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley "A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate."-- Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
Flap Copy
"Most accounts of 1968 in Paris are either bathed in nostalgia or marinated in disappointment. We are thus all in Richard Wolin's debt for his careful and dispassionate account of those years.The Wind from the Eastis by far the best history I have read in any language of the Maoist moment in France. Sympathetic without being apologetic, Wolin is particularly deft at evaluating the heritage of France's controversial cultural revolution for contemporary politics. No one interested in the upheavals of the sixties should miss this book."--Tony Judt, author ofPostwar: A History of Europe since 1945"Richard Wolin has written a fascinating account of the French Left's Maoist moment, which pays all due attention to its follies and fantasies, but also manages to capture and to value its liberating effects."--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study"The imperative to unify theory and practice has often led intellectuals down garden paths, perhaps none as hazardous as the one followed in the l960s by the French thinkers who embraced Mao's Cultural Revolution from afar. With understanding for their motivations, exasperation for their self-delusions, and appreciation for the unintended consequences of their actions, Richard Wolin recounts with sympathetic irony the follies and glories of intellectual commitment at its most extreme."--Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley"A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate."--Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
Flap Copy
"Most accounts of 1968 in Paris are either bathed in nostalgia or marinated in disappointment. We are thus all in Richard Wolin's debt for his careful and dispassionate account of those years.The Wind from the Eastis by far the best history I have read in any language of the Maoist moment in France. Sympathetic without being apologetic, Wolin is particularly deft at evaluating the heritage of France's controversial cultural revolution for contemporary politics. No one interested in the upheavals of the sixties should miss this book."--Tony Judt, author ofPostwar: A History of Europe since 1945"Wolin knows the contemporary French intellectual, political, and cultural scene, and he brings a fine balance of liberal sympathy for naÏve student enthusiasms and skeptical distaste for intellectual fashions and their cynical camp followers."--Tony Judt, author ofPostwar: A History of Europe since 1945"A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate."--Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
Flap Copy
"Wolin knows the contemporary French intellectual, political, and cultural scene, and he brings a fine balance of liberal sympathy for naÏve student enthusiasms and skeptical distaste for intellectual fashions and their cynical camp followers."--Tony Judt, author ofPostwar: A History of Europe since 1945"A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate."--Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-06-01:
Wolin (CUNY Graduate Center) examines the brief but pervasive fascination of much of the French Left with Maoism and the Cultural Revolution. Disillusioned by the crimes of Stalin, the institutionalization of French communism, and the autocratic Gaullist regime, many gauchistes were attracted by the promise of revolutionizing everyday life. Wolin surveys a wide range of French intellectuals' responses to Mao's China. The best of these responses creatively appropriated the concept of cultural revolution, leading to a new libertarianism and to the embrace of causes such as gay rights, women's liberation, and prison reform; the worst of them became fatally compromised by a blind endorsement of the crimes of Chinese communism. Wolin also provides an excellent account of the May 1968 events, as well as fascinating biographical sketches of major French thinkers such as Sartre, Kristeva, and Foucault, which examine the impact of May 1968 and the Maoist mirage on their writings and their political engagements alike. Wolin skewers irresponsible intellectual posturing in a manner reminiscent of the late Tony Judt, but reveals an underlying sympathy with the goals and ideals, if not always with the choices, of the gauchistes. A masterful performance. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Harvey New College of Florida
Reviews
Review Quotes
[A] fascinating and dispassionate account of one of the more curious follies of recent times.
"[A] fascinating and dispassionate account of one of the more curious follies of recent times."-- Jeremy Jennings, Standpoint
[A] fascinating and dispassionate account of one of the more curious follies of recent times. -- Jeremy Jennings, Standpoint
Even as he is documenting the delusions of the sixty-eighters--often with considerable wit, and with a seemingly encyclopedic familiarity--Wolin grants credence to their skewed perception of the status quo in France and in the West more generally. Disagreements and exasperations aside, I found this book compulsively readable. The history of Sixties is a long way from being exhausted.
"Even as he is documenting the delusions of the sixty-eighters--often with considerable wit, and with a seemingly encyclopedic familiarity--Wolin grants credence to their skewed perception of the status quo in France and in the West more generally. Disagreements and exasperations aside, I found this book compulsively readable. The history of Sixties is a long way from being exhausted."-- John Wilson, Books & Culture
Even as he is documenting the delusions of the sixty-eighters--often with considerable wit, and with a seemingly encyclopedic familiarity--Wolin grants credence to their skewed perception of the status quo in France and in the West more generally. Disagreements and exasperations aside, I found this book compulsively readable. The history of Sixties is a long way from being exhausted. -- John Wilson, Books & Culture
One of Financial Times 's Best Books in History for 2012 A National Public Radio (npr.org/blogs) John Wilson Favorite Book of the Year in Books & Culture for 2010
Richard Wolin has provided us with an informative and readable account of a fascinating episode in twentieth-century French intellectual history, knowledgeably placing it into its wider biographical and political contexts.
"Richard Wolin has provided us with an informative and readable account of a fascinating episode in twentieth-century French intellectual history, knowledgeably placing it into its wider biographical and political contexts."-- Moritz Fllmer, French History
Richard Wolin has provided us with an informative and readable account of a fascinating episode in twentieth-century French intellectual history, knowledgeably placing it into its wider biographical and political contexts. -- Moritz Föllmer, French History
Richard Wolin has provided us with an informative and readable account of a fascinating episode in twentieth-century French intellectual history, knowledgeably placing it into its wider biographical and political contexts. -- Moritz Fllmer, French History
The Wind From the East must be regarded as a monument of committed scholarship. It is also a fascinating chronicle of people who, however ludicrous they may seem at times, did on occasion think and act with profound seriousness. For that reason the book is a valuable addition to the literature of the era.
" The Wind From the East must be regarded as a monument of committed scholarship. It is also a fascinating chronicle of people who, however ludicrous they may seem at times, did on occasion think and act with profound seriousness. For that reason the book is a valuable addition to the literature of the era."-- David Gress, Wall Street Journal
The Wind From the East must be regarded as a monument of committed scholarship. It is also a fascinating chronicle of people who, however ludicrous they may seem at times, did on occasion think and act with profound seriousness. For that reason the book is a valuable addition to the literature of the era. -- David Gress, Wall Street Journal
The Wind From the Eastmust be regarded as a monument of committed scholarship. It is also a fascinating chronicle of people who, however ludicrous they may seem at times, did on occasion think and act with profound seriousness. For that reason the book is a valuable addition to the literature of the era. -- David Gress, Wall Street Journal
The Wind from the East tells the story of the '68 generation with a much needed awareness of the complexities of its intellectual odyssey. It is, in the end, a meditation of considerable depth on the formation of political judgments. As such, it is an important book, both within the field of French history and beyond.
" The Wind from the East tells the story of the '68 generation with a much needed awareness of the complexities of its intellectual odyssey. It is, in the end, a meditation of considerable depth on the formation of political judgments. As such, it is an important book, both within the field of French history and beyond."-- Michael C. Behrent, H-France Review
The Wind from the East tells the story of the '68 generation with a much needed awareness of the complexities of its intellectual odyssey. It is, in the end, a meditation of considerable depth on the formation of political judgments. As such, it is an important book, both within the field of French history and beyond. -- Michael C. Behrent, H-France Review
The Wind from the East will be a rewarding and exciting reading for all those with an interest in French studies, politics, and intellectual history.
" The Wind from the East will be a rewarding and exciting reading for all those with an interest in French studies, politics, and intellectual history."-- Viola Brisolin, European Legacy
Wolin argues that fascination with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution reflected, not simply a taste for exoticism, but a delayed response to postwar capitalist modernisation.
"Wolin argues that fascination with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution reflected, not simply a taste for exoticism, but a delayed response to postwar capitalist modernisation."-- Scott McLemee, The National
Wolin argues that fascination with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution reflected, not simply a taste for exoticism, but a delayed response to postwar capitalist modernisation. -- Scott McLemee, The National
Wolin surveys a wide range of French intellectuals' responses to Mao's China. The best of these responses creatively appropriate the concept of cultural revolution, leading to a new libertarianism and to the embrace of causes such as gay rights, women's liberation, and prison reform; the worst of them became fatally compromised by a blind endorsement of the crimes of Chinese communism. . . . Wolin skewers irresponsible intellectual posturing in a manner reminiscent of the late Tony Judt, but reveals an underlying sympathy with the goals and ideals, if not always with the choices, of the Gauchistes. A masterful performance. -- Choice
A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate.
Most accounts of 1968 in Paris are either bathed in nostalgia or marinated in disappointment. We are thus all in Richard Wolin's debt for his careful and dispassionate account of those years.The Wind from the Eastis by far the best history I have read in any language of the Maoist moment in France. Sympathetic without being apologetic, Wolin is particularly deft at evaluating the heritage of France's controversial cultural revolution for contemporary politics. No one interested in the upheavals of the sixties should miss this book.
Richard Wolin has written a fascinating account of the French Left's Maoist moment, which pays all due attention to its follies and fantasies, but also manages to capture and to value its liberating effects.
The imperative to unify theory and practice has often led intellectuals down garden paths, perhaps none as hazardous as the one followed in the l960s by the French thinkers who embraced Mao's Cultural Revolution from afar. With understanding for their motivations, exasperation for their self-delusions, and appreciation for the unintended consequences of their actions, Richard Wolin recounts with sympathetic irony the follies and glories of intellectual commitment at its most extreme.
Wolin knows the contemporary French intellectual, political, and cultural scene, and he brings a fine balance of liberal sympathy for naïve student enthusiasms and skeptical distaste for intellectual fashions and their cynical camp followers.
This item was reviewed in:
Wall Street Journal, July 2010
Guardian UK, November 2010
Choice, June 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"Most accounts of 1968 in Paris are either bathed in nostalgia or marinated in disappointment. We are thus all in Richard Wolin's debt for his careful and dispassionate account of those years. The Wind from the East is by far the best history I have read in any language of the Maoist moment in France. Sympathetic without being apologetic, Wolin is particularly deft at evaluating the heritage of France's controversial cultural revolution for contemporary politics. No one interested in the upheavals of the sixties should miss this book."--Tony Judt, author of Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 "Richard Wolin has written a fascinating account of the French Left's Maoist moment, which pays all due attention to its follies and fantasies, but also manages to capture and to value its liberating effects."--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study "The imperative to unify theory and practice has often led intellectuals down garden paths, perhaps none as hazardous as the one followed in the l960s by the French thinkers who embraced Mao's Cultural Revolution from afar. With understanding for their motivations, exasperation for their self-delusions, and appreciation for the unintended consequences of their actions, Richard Wolin recounts with sympathetic irony the follies and glories of intellectual commitment at its most extreme."--Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley "A lively and engaged history, sure to provoke debate."--Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
Bowker Data Service Summary
Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, this book tells the colourful story of this legendary period in France.
Main Description
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who's who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China's Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless exposeacute; of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s,The Wind from the Easttells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life.Wolin's riveting narrative reveals that Maoism's allure among France's best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. French student leftists took up the trope of "cultural revolution," applying it to their criticisms of everyday life. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France's leading cultural figures, influencing Sartre's "perfect Maoist moment"; Foucault's conception of power; Sollers's chic, leftist intellectual journalTel Quel; as well as Kristeva's book on Chinese women--which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding.Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s,The Wind from the Eastillustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.
Main Description
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who's who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China's Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless expos of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, The Wind from the East tells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life. Wolin's riveting narrative reveals that Maoism's allure among France's best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. French student leftists took up the trope of "cultural revolution," applying it to their criticisms of everyday life. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France's leading cultural figures, influencing Sartre's "perfect Maoist moment"; Foucault's conception of power; Sollers's chic, leftist intellectual journal Tel Quel ; as well as Kristeva's book on Chinese women--which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding. Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s, The Wind from the East illustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.
Main Description
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who's who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China's Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, The Wind from the East tells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life. Wolin's riveting narrative reveals that Maoism's allure among France's best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. French student leftists took up the trope of "cultural revolution," applying it to their criticisms of everyday life. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France's leading cultural figures, influencing Sartre's "perfect Maoist moment"; Foucault's conception of power; Sollers's chic, leftist intellectual journal Tel Quel ; as well as Kristeva's book on Chinese women--which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding. Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s, The Wind from the East illustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.
Main Description
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who's who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China's Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s,The Wind from the Easttells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life. Wolin's riveting narrative reveals that Maoism's allure among France's best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. French student leftists took up the trope of "cultural revolution," applying it to their criticisms of everyday life. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France's leading cultural figures, influencing Sartre's "perfect Maoist moment"; Foucault's conception of power; Sollers's chic, leftist intellectual journalTel Quel; as well as Kristeva's book on Chinese women--which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding. Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s,The Wind from the Eastillustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. ix
Introduction: The Maoist Temptationp. 1
The Hour of Rebellion
Showdown at Bruay-en-Artoisp. 25
France during the 1960sp. 39
May 1968: The Triumph of Libidinal Politicsp. 70
Who Were the Maoists?p. 109
Excursus: On the Sectarian Maoism of Alain Badioup. 155
The Hour of the Intellectuals
Jean-Paul Sartre's Perfect Maoist Momentp. 179
Tel Quel in Cultural-Political Hellp. 233
Foucault and the Maoists: Biopolitics and Engagementp. 288
The Impossible Heritage: From Cultural Revolution to Associational Democracyp. 350
Bibliographyp. 371
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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