May '68 and Its Afterlives

May and Its Afterlives During May students and workers in France united in the biggest strike and the largest mass movement in French history Protesting capitalism American imperialism and Gaullism million people

  • Title: May '68 and Its Afterlives
  • Author: Kristin Ross
  • ISBN: 9780226727998
  • Page: 255
  • Format: Paperback
  • During May 1968, students and workers in France united in the biggest strike and the largest mass movement in French history Protesting capitalism, American imperialism, and Gaullism, 9 million people from all walks of life, from shipbuilders to department store clerks, stopped working The nation was paralyzed no sector of the workplace was untouched Yet, just thirty yeDuring May 1968, students and workers in France united in the biggest strike and the largest mass movement in French history Protesting capitalism, American imperialism, and Gaullism, 9 million people from all walks of life, from shipbuilders to department store clerks, stopped working The nation was paralyzed no sector of the workplace was untouched Yet, just thirty years later, the mainstream image of May 68 in France has become that of a mellow youth revolt, a cultural transformation stripped of its violence and profound sociopolitical implications.Kristin Ross shows how the current official memory of May 68 came to serve a political agenda antithetical to the movement s aspirations She examines the roles played by sociologists, repentant ex student leaders, and the mainstream media in giving what was a political event a predominantly cultural and ethical meaning Recovering the political language of May 68 through the tracts, pamphlets, and documentary film footage of the era, Ross reveals how the original movement, concerned above all with the question of equality, gained a new and counterfeit history, one that erased police violence and the deaths of participants, removed workers from the picture, and eliminated all traces of anti Americanism, anti imperialism, and the influences of Algeria and Vietnam May 68 and Its Afterlives is especially timely given the rise of a new mass political movement opposing global capitalism, from labor strikes and anti McDonald s protests in France to the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle.

    One thought on “May '68 and Its Afterlives”

    1. This is quite a good book, interesting and sophisticated, though at times somewhat dense and jargony (hence the lost star) -- definitely written from a 'radical' perspective. Ross is attempting to study not so much the nature of May '68 (as such), as its roots (in the Algerian War) and, more importantly, its recuperation (Afterlives) by the Neoliberals (from 1975-1988 - the 20th Anniversary -- and beyond). According to Ross, the Neoliberals (and its collaborators -- all ex-gauchists -- like July [...]

    2. About damned time someone rescued "May '68" from Daniel Cohn-Bendit, et al. Ross opens up "May" beyond May and the Latin Quarter, and discusses the implications afterlives that have both limited the event temporally and spatially have for contemporary debates.I found Ross's discussion of how the third-worldism of the 1960s has given way to a discourse on "human rights" that denies agency and voice to those in the third world particularly compelling and important.

    3. Since the mid-70s, May ‘68 and its memory have been the uncontested property of a select group of authority figures -- “intellectuals” and former militants turned liberal market enthusiasts -- keen to play down its political and subversive essence. These media-proclaimed specialists peddle an array of views of May ’68: as a “youth” revolt, a “cultural” transformation, a bridge to 80s individualism, a last spasm of “totalitarianism”, or even a non-event (“no one died, nothin [...]

    4. A lucid and convincing challenge to those who attempted to reduce the significance of the events of May '68 in France by compartmentalising and categorizing those who took part. Ross passionately argues against the misrepresentation of the protesters, their background and intentions and advocates for the real significance of those amazing times.

    5. Three passages from May ’68 and Its Afterlives:For May ’68 itself was not an artistic moment. It was an event that transpired amid very few images; French television, after all, was on strike. Drawings, political cartoons – by Siné, Willem, Cabu, and others – proliferated; photographs were taken. Only the most “immediate” of artistic techniques, it seems, could keep up with the speed of events. But to say this is already to point out how much politics was exerting a magnetic pull on [...]

    6. Ross argued that, in French historical discourse, the French state, allied with the few spokesmen of the insurrection, worked to defang the largest general strike in the “overdeveloped” world after World War II, and the largest in French history, three times the size of any of the largest strikes in the Popular Front era in 1936. The 6 week May-June 1968 general strike, which was started as university occupations against capitalism, consumerism, American imperialism, and the traditionalist G [...]

    7. I thought this book was fascinating, as Ross tends to be, and only revert to four stars on account of its academic tone, which I don't mind but which might annoy someone else. It is not always easy going, and I will admit that there were some pages that left me scratching my head wondering what in the hell she was talking about. Ross can hit you with some big words and ideas at times. I'm not sure that I'm fully up to the task of communicating what the author does in these pages, but, on a basic [...]

    8. Cohn-Bendit and his sell-out cohorts finally get their ass kicked here. May '68 gets a correct academic analysis in a book that every library should own and everyone that cares about ourstory should read. All is good with the world at least concerning the events of '68 Paris General Strike and its reverberations. Kristin Ross is an intellectual force worth experiencing . Anyone interested in the topic and times should hunt for a copy . Who wouldn't want to read a reliable analysis regarding Revo [...]

    9. Both a rescuing of the radicalism of May from its neoliberal interlocutors and a brilliant account of what the project of making May safe for consumption and celebration within the frame of the post-68 French state entails, Ross's book is also a terrific account of what was truly revolutionary about the student and worker revolts and their tactics. Really impressive work of cultural history, and wonderfully written.

    10. -the divisions in society melt, the students support the workers and viceversa: solidaritydo not fear the end of a project it is the beginning of something more viablehow do people empower themselves by labeling others victims?may 68 as the ticket to that academic career you always wanted, telvision specials and feature length films: the may 68 industry

    11. Ross is fairly biased, but this is a good narrative of the Paris uprising/riots/protests of 1968. Lots of good detail, maybe too much, and certainly her favorite sources are the most obscure, and so maybe not the most representative. Still, it's an interesting perspective on a crazy time.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *