The New Resistance? French Intellectual Realignments after the Liberation: the case of Armand Petitjean

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The chaotic aftermath of the war in France conceals a complex range of intellectual positions, conditioned by the Épuration, a purge of those who had to one degree or another collaborated with the Nazi Occupier after July 1940, and well as the onset of the Cold War. Armand Petitjean, who had been one of the young hopes of the liberal cultural review, the Nouvelle Revue française (NRF), before the war, was one such writer to be purged in September 1944. Following the advice of Jean Paulhan, his former mentor at the NRF, he re-joined the army to help mitigate his case. However, embittered by his treatment at the hands of the communist-dominated Writers' Committee, the Comité National des Ecrivains (CNE), he, Paulhan, and others were rapidly mobilized in favour of the anti-communist cause, as the Cold War gathered momentum in 1947. This paper, using unpublished papers in the Petitjean archives — including book-publishing projects and unpublished correspondence with that guru of anti-communism, Arthur Koestler — will offer a case study on what was conceived as the ‘New Resistance’.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of War and Culture Studies
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Cold War, Epuration, Intellectual history, Publishing, Koestler, Anti-communists, La Table ronde, Liberation of France