Generation Stalin: French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality
Generation Stalin traces Joseph Stalin's rise as a dominant figure in French political culture from the 1930s through the 1950s. Andrew Sobanet brings to light the crucial role French writers played in building Stalin's cult of personality and in disseminating Stalinist propaganda in the international Communist sphere, including within the USSR. Based on a wide array of sources—literary, cinematic, historical, and archival—Generation Stalin situates in a broad cultural context the work of the most prominent intellectuals affiliated with the French Communist Party, including Goncourt winner Henri Barbusse, Nobel laureate Romain Rolland, renowned poet Paul Eluard, and canonical literary figure Louis Aragon. Generation Stalin arrives at a pivotal moment, with the Stalin cult and elements of Stalinist ideology resurgent in twenty-first-century Russia and authoritarianism on the rise around the world.