The internationally-significant left-wing individuals who lived in Paris and ‘made a difference’ in the evolution of socialism of France’s quite unique social model.

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Jules Dalou

An accomplished sculptor before 1871 he became an administrator of the Louvre during the Commune and was forced to flee to London after its defeat. After his return to Paris in 1879 he produced a huge body of work reflecting his humanity and suport for working people

Honoré Daumier

Master of French political caricatures from the 1830s he was a democrat, often close to the working class, and sympathetic to the Commune

Simone De Beauvoir

A major writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Elisabeth Dmitrieff

Feminist and revolutionary was asked to go to Paris by Marx in March 1871 to send information back.

Marguerite Durand

Feminist and journalist in 1897 founded the daily feminist paper, La Fronde (The Wind of Change). Supported the formation of women-only trade unions.

Marguerite Duras

A remarkable feminist and resistance activist she wrote novels, plays and films, including the screenplay of Hiroshima Mon Amour.

Paul Eluard

A surrealist poet in 1924 he joined the PCF in 1926, leaving in 1933 when Breton was expelled. He rejoined in 1942 when he wrote in most famous poem, Liberty.

Friedrich Engels

Engels first spent several weeks with Marx in Paris in 1844 and again in 1847 and 1848. Helped found the Second International in 1889.

Zhou Enlai

He spent nearly four years in Paris from 1920 to 1924, joining the Communist movement there and learning political skills.

Frantz Fanon

In the 1950s a philosopher and psychiatrist who charted the psychological, sociological and philosophical damage of colonisation

Félix Fénéon

A Parisian anarchist and art critic during the late 19th century. He coined the term ‘Neo-Impressionism’ in 1886.

Michel Foucault

One of the world’s most cited philosophers, in the 1970s he campaigned for prisoners’ rights and migrant workers.

Antoinette Fouque

Challenging the general mysogeny and machoism in Paris in 1968, she was one of the founders of the French Women’s Liberation movement.

Benoît Frachon

French metalworker who became CGT General Secretary in 1945 he was a key leader of the French Communist Party from 1940-1944

Pierre Frank

Member of the Fourth International secretariat from 1948 to 1979

Eugen Fried

In the 1930s he was the Communist International’s Paris representative to the French Communist Party. He was assassinated by the Gestapo in 1943.

André Gide

One of France’s leading writers, in the early 1930s he moved close to the Communist Party. In 1937, after his first visit to Russia, he denounced the Moscow trials.

Jean-Baptiste André Godin

Republican and early socialist, 1859-82, he built a ‘family palace’ with a park, allotments, schools and library alongside a factory.

André Gorz

Based in Paris from 1949 Gorz moved from existentialism, through neo-Marxism to become a major global thinker about political ecology.

Jean Grave

Son of a Communard, Jean Grave became an anarchist of notoriety for saying he ‘preferred dynamite to the vote’.

Fernand Grenier

The Communist representative at the Consultative Assembly set up in Algeria. He was re-elected Deputy to the National Assembly from 1945 to 1968.

Victor Griffuelhes

A major influence in the emergence of revolutionary syndicalism as the dominant ideology in early 20th century French trade unionism

Benoîte Groult

Best-sellling novelist who embraced feminism in the 1970s, she founded the monthly ‘F Magazine’ in 1978.

Daniel Guérin

Militant libertarian communist, anti-colonialist and bisexual activist in the movement for gay liberation, he was also a major historian of the French Revolution.

Jules Guesde

1845-1922 – France
Founder of France’s first Marxist party, and later government minister during the First World War.

Marie Guillot

Primary school teacher and revolutionary syndicalist, refused to support the war in 1914. In 1921 was elected General Secretary of the Federation of Secular Teachers.

Robert Hardy / Barcia

In 1949 Hardy began to rebuild a Trotskyist sect that in 1956 took the name of the Union Communiste Internationaliste. In June 1968 it was relaunched as Lutte Ouvrière.

Ernest Hemingway

In 1921 Hemingway moved to Paris, leaving in 1927 after his first divorce. In the 1950s he was spied upon by the FBI for supposed Communist sympathies.

Lucien Herr

One of the best read socialists in France this chief librarian at the elite École normale university helped found L’Humanité in 1904 and joined the SFIO in 1905.

Stéphane Hessel

A diplomat, he founded the socialist think-tank, the Jean-Moulin Club. His 2010 call for a ‘peaceful insurrection’ against liberalism sold half a million.

Victor Hugo

Poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers.

Jean Jaurès

A founder of the French Socialist Party. In 1904 he set up the socialist daily paper, L’Humanité. He was assassinated in July 1914.

Léon Jouhaux

Elected General Secretary of the CGT in 1909 as a revolutioniary syndicalist, he held the post until 1947.

Henri Krasucki

Living in France from the age of 10, the Polish Jew, he survived Buchenwald (unlike his parents) and became General Secretary of the CGT from 1982 to 1992

Annie Kriegel

A resistant at 16 and then at 19 a member of the Communist Party, she moved to the right after 1956 and became an anti-Communist historian of the PCF

Peter Kropotkin

An aristocrat by birth, in the 1890s he synthesised Bakunin and Proudhon. His influential journals, le Révolté and La Révolte were published in Paris from 1885.

A-C | D-K | L-P | R-Z

The internationally-significant left-wing individuals who lived in Paris and ‘made a difference’ in the evolution of socialism of France’s quite unique social model.