Raymond Aron: The Making of a Cold Warrior

Stuart L. Campbell, "Raymond Aron: The Making of a Cold Warrior," The Historian, v51 n4 (1989): 551-573.


During the years following World War II, Raymond Aron emerged as France’s leading a thinker willing to challenge the leftist political attitudes that dominated the French intellectual community. Unlike John Paul Sartre, for example, who affirmed Communism as man’s last great hope and argued for French neutrality in the face of Russian–American animosities, Aron lauded the virtues of American capitalism, supported France’s adherence to NATO and described Marxism–Leninism as an expression of a totalitarian spirits opposed to the values of Western liberal democracy. In a word, Aron remained under touched by communist sympathies that played such an important role in shaping the attitudes of many postwar French thinkers. An outspoken anti-Communist, he earned the opprobrium of his peers I arguing that France should pursue a politics designed to oppose the Soviet Union and weakened the subversive and debilitating domestic influence of the French Communist Party.

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