Publisher: AK Press
Released: April 10, 2018
An eye-opening first-person account of the inspiring events of May ’68.
Q: “You threw paving stones at [the cops]?”
A: “Oh yeah. I had no problem doing that. And I threw marbles as well that we stole from stores. And towards the end we even managed to steal tractors from construction sites and we knocked over trees with them.”
The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 were exciting, dangerous, creative, and influential, changing European politics to this day. Students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, and factories and universities were occupied. Before it was all over, children, homemakers, and the elderly were swept up in the life-changing events that targeted bureaucratic capitalism and the staid Communist Party. The French state was on the ropes and feared civil war or revolution. Decades later, here are the eye-opening oral testimonies of those young rebels who demanded the impossible.
Published on the 50th anniversary of those momentous events, May Made Me presents the legacy of the uprising: how those explosive experiences changed both the individual and history.
Praise for May Made Me
“These powerful and moving testimonies create an eye-opening account of the inspiring events of May ’68, which are more relevant for today’s activists than ever before.”
—Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
"The interviews presented in May Made Me are valuable to anyone taking a deeper look into the events of May 1968. It is an engaging and entertaining read and gives an excellent sense of the excitement of the movement which is rarely captured in translation."
—Joshua Koritz, Socialist Alternative
"Among the many books published in the 50th anniversary of the May ’68 revolt, this one stands out for its ability to hear from those directly involved. Through dozens of interviews with participants, Mitchell Abidor lets us feel the transformative power of mass struggle on individuals and society."
—Charlie Kimber, The Socialist Workers Party
"Oddly enough, there don’t seem to be too many books coming out about the French upheaval in English. So let us thank Mitch Abidor, the Brooklynite translator and writer, for having given us his May Made Me in such timely fashion..."
—Richard Greeman, Canadian Dimension
Mitchell Abidor is a translator who has published over a dozen books on French radical history and a writer on history, ideas, and culture who has appeared in the New York Times, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, the New York Review of Books, and Jacobin, among many others. He is the author of I'll Forget It When I Die! The Bisbee Deportation of 1917.