Communism a La Francaise

In a town in the Red Belt of Paris, the party tends the grass roots and maintains its popular appeal

Enter town on Stalingrad Street. Take a whiff of the pink and red flowers planted around V.I. Lenin's bust. Among the high-rise concrete blocks of the Karl Marx Quarter, comrades are hawking the latest edition of the Communist Party newspaper. Plastered along Avenue Yury Gagarin, Nelson Mandela Street and Avenue Salvador Allende, posters sport a red hammer and sickle and a soft- sell slogan: A JOB, JUST TO SURVIVE.

Welcome to Bobigny, fiefdom of the French Communist Party and not about to apologize. Will they rebaptize the streets and dismantle the monument to Vladimir Ilyich? Mayor Georges Valbon grins broadly and...

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