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Mai 68

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1Booklets The booklets in this section offer a cross section of reflection on the Events from many perspectives. Several items illustrate the unprecedented involvement of the employed middle strata in the Events, notably film makers and architects. Analysis of this phenomenon is represented by a booklet on "Les Etudiants, les Cadres, et la Révolution." The "Université Critique" pamphlet was prepared by Law students and shows the depth and seriousness of the movement for university reform. At the other end of the political spectrum of the movement, "Mai '68" is a presentation by the authors of leaflets advocating self-managing socialism and distributed for the most part in factories. "Les Murs ont la Parole" is a collection of graffiti from the walls of Paris and displays the creativity and humor of the students and their allies. "Nous Sommes en Marche" begins with the influential early manifesto entitled "The Amnesty of Blinded Eyes." The group which issued that document continued to meet and record its reflections throughout May, eventually issuing this interesting collection. The "Livre Noir" documents the violent suppression of the movement. Other items in this section give insight into the reaction of the unions, the Communist Party, and various political sects.
2Leaflets and Pamphlets The leaflets included in this section were gathered in the streets of Paris from day to day during the Events. They represent every tendency of the movement from the earliest days to the end. They are organized approximately chronologically, with longer items gathered at the end.
3Magazines The magazines gathered here include commercial publications such as the Communist Party magazine and "Démocratie Nouvelle," and the important student journal, "Les Cahiers de Mai." This journal published reports on struggles by the students themselves and offers direct testimony on movement activities. The reports on the union takeover of the town of Nantes are particularly interesting. This was the high point of the movement, its closest approximation to the goal of self-management.
4Newspapers "Action" was the principal student newspaper published during the Events. The nearly complete collection here follows the struggle day by day. Other movement publications such as the Maoist newspapers "La Cause du Peuple," and "Servir le Peuple," were far less influential. "L’Enragé" named after a radical faction in the French Revolution of 1789, contains cartoons that spoof and ridicule the government and its supporters. The collection includes a few issues of the Communist newspaper, "L’Humanité" which was a surprisingly conservative voice in 1968.
5Translation The translations in this section are of two kinds. Included are twenty pages of published translations from the book by Andrew Feenberg and Jim Freedman, "When Poetry Ruled the Streets" (SUNY Press). In addition, a number of translations prepared in 1968 have been included in manuscript. These are drafts of texts originally intended for the book but dropped because of length. Some of them are introduced with commentaries prepared shortly after the Events. These translations focus primarily on contemporary debates over the role of the middle strata in the Events. The "Critical University" pamphlet represents the reformist program of the Law School students. The originals are indicated in each case and can be consulted on this site.

Consult the resources page for references to other Web sites that offer translations of Mai 68, and other documents of related interest.

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