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Lanneret (Pierre) papers
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  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Pierre Lanneret papers
    Date (inclusive): 1902-1996
    Collection Number: 93032
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and French
    Physical Description: 18 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box (10.0 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, notes, correspondence, serial issues, pamphlets, leaflets, internal bulletins, and photographs, relating to left-wing resistance activities in France during World War II, and to libertarian socialist and communist movements in France, the United States and elsewhere.
    Creator: Lanneret, Pierre, 1921-1993
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1993.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pierre Lanneret papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    1921 Born, Auxerre, France
    1938 Joins La Jeunesse Revolutionnaire Socialiste, a Trotskyist group
      Becomes employed as a typesetter
    1942-1943 Sent to Germany as a laborer under the terms of la Service du Travail Obligatoire
    1943 Joins the Groupe Révolutionnaire Prolétarien, a clandestine group of "revolutionary internationalists," in Paris
    1946-1950 Active in the Bordigist group, la Fraction Française de la Gauche Communiste
    1950 Joins Socialisme ou Barbarie
    1951 Emigrates to Canada
    1958 Moves to San Francisco, becoming member of the Typographical Union
    1970-1975 Member, International Socialists
    1976-1979 Member, A World to Win
    1985 Third Camp Internationalists in France during World War II
    1993 Dies

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Acquired in 1987, with a significant increment received in 2001, the Pierre Lanneret papers in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives provide a window on the history of 20th century French working-class radicalism, and in particular, on the life of small but influential groups whose politics were situated well to the left of the French Communist Party. It also documents the activities of similar groups in the United States and the United Kingdom.
    Having entered the labor force as an adolescent in France, Lanneret worked in the printing trades as a typesetter and composer until his retirement in 1984. At the same time, he devoted a life's work and intellectual effort to revolutionary politics, participating as a militant in several organizations, and conducting an extensive correspondence with a number of like-minded individuals, a connection which in many cases endured long after any period of formal organizational collaboration.
    Lanneret's first political engagement was with a Trotskyist youth group in his native Auxerre, but by the time of the Second World War, his views had shifted in the direction of a revolutionary internationalist perspective, which did not view the Soviet Union as socialist, and which opposed both Nazi Germany and the Allied powers, seeing the war as the expression of imperialist rivalries, not as an anti-fascist crusade.
    At considerable personal risk, Lanneret evaded obligatory labor service in Germany during the Nazi occupation of France and went underground in Paris, joining a small resistance group, the Groupe Révolutionnaire Prolétarien, which also espoused a "third camp internationalist" perspective. This clandestine group engaged in limited propaganda work and some direct action. Its history, along with that of other similar groups, is described in Lanneret's work, Third Camp Internationalists in France during World War II, various editions of which are found in the collection, along with extensive research materials consulted in the preparation of this monograph (see SPEECHES AND WRITINGS series). A German translation of the joint autobiography of Paul (Pavel) and Clara Thalman, which also discusses the activities of the Groupe Révolutionnaire Prolétarien, is included in the WRITINGS BY OTHERS series in the collection.
    After the war, Lanneret was an early member of the group Socialisme ou Barbarie, whose ideas on modern revolution and the nature of bureaucracy were later to exert a considerable influence on the anti-authoritarian currents of the student and worker revolt in France during May-June 1968. Although he emigrated to North America, living first in Canada and then in San Francisco, Lanneret continued to meet and correspond with his former associates in the French revolutionary milieu.
    Among these was the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, the principal theorist of Socialisme ou Barbarie. The collection contains Castoriadis's correspondence with Lanneret, translations made by Lanneret of some of Castoriadis's writings, and an extensive selection of those writings in the original French (See TRANSLATIONS and WRITINGS BY OTHERS series). There are also copies of the review, Socialisme ou barbarie, in which can be found articles by Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, and others (see PRINTED MATTER series).
    The PRINTED MATTER series in the collection also contains a number of rare or fugitive pamphlets and serial issues from political groups in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. There are extensive materials from the British Solidarity group, which was highly influenced by Socialisme ou Barbarie, and from the French councilist group Informations Correspondance Ouvrières, an offshoot of Socialisme ou Barbarie. In addition, there is a considerable number of publications from fairly obscure leftist groups in the United States in the 1930s, and from Trotskyist and Maoist groups in France in the post-1968 period. There is a considerable amount of publications from groups identified with the Bordigist tendency in revolutionary Marxist politics.
    The collection also contains some serial issues relating specifically to the May-June 1968 events in France (see OVERSIZE MATERIALS), and recordings of songs associated with the Paris Commune, 1871.
    A feature of the political movements in which Lanneret was involved was the common use of pseudonyms, both as a practice imposed by conditions of wartime clandestinity and as a habit continued afterward. Where appropriate, these pseudonyms have been given in the case of deceased individuals to aid in the identification of writings and correspondence.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War, 1939-1945 -- Underground movements
    World War, 1939-1945 -- France
    Communism -- United States
    Socialism -- United States
    Communism -- France
    Socialism -- France
    Anarchism -- France
    French -- United States
    Fourth International