Proletarian Nights: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth-Century France

Category: Humanities
Author: Donald Reid
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by paganel   2018-01-26
If you haven't read it already I highly recommend reading "The Making of the English Working Class", by E. P. Thompson (, I've read the book in French, can't vouch for the translation), which writes about the French worker movements active around the 1840s-1860s and their relation to utopian ideas. There are also a couple of chapters on Étienne Cabet (, a pretty interesting character.

> In 1848, Cabet gave up on the notion of reforming French society. Instead, after conversations with Robert Owen and Owen's attempts to found a commune in Texas, Cabet gathered a group of followers from across France and traveled to the United States to organize an Icarian community.[6] They entered into a social contract, making Cabet the director-in-chief for the first ten years, and embarked from Le Havre, February 3, 1848, to take up land on the Red River in Texas. Cabet came later at the head of a second and smaller band. Texas did not prove to be the Utopia looked for, and, ravaged by disease, about one-third of the colonists returned to France.[2]