Abstract

Emmanuel Mounier has been a difficult figure for historians. Through his journal, Esprit, he promoted a revival of Catholic thought that marked an entire generation of French intellectuals as well as “liberation” theologians. Esprit struggled to pull spirituality out of the hands of the reactionaries and to “remake the Renaissance.” Yet Mounier was also a dedicated antidemocrat who welcomed the rise of Vichy and, after the war, became a high-profile apologist for Stalin. Recent scholarship critiques the “progressive” label and recasts Mounier’s thought as consistent with the antidemocratic “neither Right nor Left” philosophy of the 1930s. This article accepts that general reassessment but locates a hatred for America as a key factor in his thought and influence. Through a close contextual reading of the journal, we see how Mounier managed to transport prewar right-wing anti-Americanism into postwar left-wing anti-Americanism without ever altering the terms of his critique. This demonstrates the malleability and centrality of anti-Americanism and its importance in the rhetoric of a certain variety of French nationalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-5493
Print ISSN
0016-1071
Pages
pp. 271-304
Launched on MUSE
2001-04-01
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2004
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