Against the Grain

The Death and Life of the Paris Commune

In 1871, the lower classes of the city of Paris rose up and established a worker-run government. They flew the red flag, championed the rights of women, and separated church and state. The Paris Commune had little time to put into place many of the Communards’ ideals before it was violently crushed by the French state.  The bloody repression was meted out on a massive scale, and — historian John Merriman argues — foreshadowed the state violence that was to mark the 20th and 21st centuries.

Resources:

John Merriman, Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune Basic Books, 2014

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