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January 8, 2015 at 9:09 am #16870
The answer to your question is both/and: I was pressed for space in putting the lectures together, and I do think the importance of the Paris Commune has been overstated. Its primary significance has been as a rallying cry for Marxists, but in terms of its long-term impact I don’t think it’s much more important than the June Days of 1848. It highlights the growing cultural divide in France, which I discuss to some extent when I talk about the Dreyfus Affair.