France: The Decline of Maurice

France's Communist Party used to be the biggest, proudest bearer of the Red banner in Western Europe. Today party membership is 240,000, down from nearly 1,000,000 after World War II. Only 41 Communists sit in the National Assembly where 150 Red deputies raised their voices in 1956.

More or less oblivious to these figures, 776 chanting, clapping delegates to the 17th Party Congress in Paris' Latin Quarter heard Party Boss Maurice Thorez describe changes in the party advertised as "revolutionary." They turned out to be hardly that. To pro vide a little...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!