The foreign road to the homeland: Paris and the national turn of a Portuguese Communist

Autumn 2014

This article begins with a consideration of the challenges faced by those seeking to understand the mapping of relationships within the communist movement, before focusing on a specific historical issue within this field: the national turn of communism that took place during the Popular Front period. It draws our attention to the international nature of this process, and takes as an example of this international aspect the case of Fernando Lopes-Graça, a well known Portuguese communist composer. Graça’s turn to the national can only be fully understood in the context of the time he spent in Paris in the late 1930s, and the wider impact of French communism on Portuguese communists. Examining this case helps to draw attention to the kinds of communist connections that are usually overlooked on the grounds that
 they are neither the effect of a single national dynamic nor the direct result of a Soviet connection.

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