Jacques Duclos

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Duclos, Jacques


Born Oct. 2, 1896, in Louey, Hautes-Pyrénées Department. Leading figure of the French and international workers’ movement. The son of a carpenter.

Duclos went to work at the age of 12 as an apprentice in the pastry trade. From 1915 to 1917 he was a private in the French Army and fought in World War I. After the war he was one of the organizers of the Republic Association of Former Combatants, of which he became the vice-president in 1932 and honorary chairman in 1945. He joined the French Communist Party shortly after it was founded in December 1920. He became a member of the Central Committee in 1926; from 1931 to 1964 he was the secretary of the Central Committee; and in 1931 he became a member of the Politburo. At the Seventh Congress of the Communist International (1935) he was elected to the Executive Committee. He was a deputy to the French Assembly from 1926 to 1932. Elected again in 1936, he served as vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies (1936-39). He took an active part in organizing the Popular Front in France. In 1940, in the trial of the 44 Communist deputies, Duclos, who was underground, was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison. During the fascist German occupation (1940-44) he was one of the organizers and leaders of the Resistance. In 1944-45 he was a member of the Consultative Assembly of France and in 1945-46 he was vice-president of the Constituent Assembly and president of the Communist parliamentary group. From 1946 to 1958 he was a deputy in the National Assembly and president of the Communist parliamentary group, serving as vice-president of the assembly from 1946 to 1948. In 1959 he became a senator and president of the Communist parliamentary group in the Senate. In the presidential elections of 1969 he was the candidate of the French Communist Party for president of the French Republic.

Duclos is the author of a number of works on the history, theory, and practice of the workers’ movement.


Batailles pour la République. Paris, 1947.
Ecrits de la prison. Paris, 1952.
De Napoléon III à de Gaulle. Paris, 1964.
La Première Internationale. Paris, 1964.
Anarchistes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. Paris, 1968.
La Commune de Paris à l’assaut du ciel. Paris, 1970.
Mémoires, vols. 1-4. Paris, 1968-71.
In Russian translation:
Edinstvo deistvii rabochego klassa i Narodnyi front. Moscow, 1956.
Izbrannye proizvedeniia, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1959.
Na shturm neba: Parizhskaia kommuna—predvestnitsa novogo mira. Moscow, 1962.
Budushchee demokratii. Moscow, 1963.
Gollizm, tekhnokratiia, korporativizm. Moscow, 1964.
Oktiabr’ 17 goda i Frantsiia. Moscow, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
These included political leaders like Maurice Thorez and Jacques Duclos, alongside cultural figures such as Henri Barbusse and Paul Eluard.
Attended by the poets Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard, the painter Andre Fougeron and the writer Albert Camus, the ceremony was a simple affair overseen by Jacques Duclos, the deputy leader.
At the founding conference of the Cominform in September 1947 Jacques Duclos was forced into humiliating self-criticism including a repudiation of the party's entire "opportunist" line since 1944.
In April 1945 the French Communist Jacques Duclos, whose own party was anything but revolutionary, attacked Browder in the journal, Cahiers du Communisme, referring ominously, to the CPA leader as the "former secretary." As Stalin liked to say, this was not an accident.