This series of articles was written by Trotsky from 1934 to 1939, between the installation of the right wing Doumergue government in 1934 and the election of the Popular Front government of Leon Blum in 1936 and the ensuing massive general strike.
Trotsky subjects the program of the social democrats and Stalinists, who were bent on tying the working class to an alliance with the left bourgeois parties through Stalin’s “Popular Front” policy, to a withering critique.
He attacks the policies of centrists such as Marceau Pivert of the Socialist Party, who refused to break with the reformists and thus blocked the road to the building of a mass revolutionary party. Trotsky deals with such questions as the tactic of the united front and the formation of workers militias to defend working class organizations against fascist attack. He also analyzes the role of the French Radical Party.