Chronicles foretelling the death of the French Communist Party have been a staple part of the literature on the Left in France since the 1980s, when the party began to lose control over the dissident voices in its own ranks and had to face the evidence of its failure at the ballot box. The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union reinforced the belief that the party had lost its raison d'etre and therefore any enduring hope of survival. Nonetheless, the party emerged from the elections of 2004 in France on a much more even keel than those parties to its left which had been tipped to overtake it. Instead of viewing the party in isolation, Raymond treats it as part of the host society whose evolution invariably impacts on its fortunes and suggests that the obituaries for communism in France may be premature.

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