Leslie Kaplan

'There should be battles'

Julie Carr and Jennifer Pap interview Leslie Kaplan

Women on factory floor, 1960.

Poet, novelist, and playwright Leslie Kaplan came of age in 1960s Paris. At that time, France was defined by a particular brand of conservatism, even while tumultuous events called out for a commitment to activism. President Charles de Gaulle had successfully pushed for strong executive power when a new constitution was written, founding the Fifth Republic (1958). De Gaulle believed that a united and powerful France could re-emerge from war and postwar challenges through fidelity to traditions and commitment to social stability. Attaching paramount importance to French identity and destiny meant paying little heed to the varied needs of working-class people and other vulnerable populations. Within this ideology there was much to concern those committed to social justice.

Note[1]: Poet, novelist, and playwright Leslie Kaplan came of age in 1960s Paris. At that time, France was defined by a particular brand of conservatism, even while tumultuous events called out for a commitment to activism. President Charles de Gaulle had successfully pushed for strong executive power when a new constitution was written, founding the Fifth Republic (1958).

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