The problem of the general political inclinations of the petite bourgeoisie, and especially its relationship to fascism, is one of the major questions currently facing historians dealing with European society in the past one hundred years. Independent artisans have at best been seen as ananachronism in the industrial age. Often, they are regarded as the social basis of the fascist movements of the 1920s and 30s because of their supposedly reactionary class interests. Unfortunately, such sweeping analyses--by both Marxists and non-Marxists alike--have been based largely on one case,that of Germany. It is France however, that has been considered the pre-eminent nation of the petit bourgeois, and fascism had only limited appeal there. This is the central question Zdatny addresses in this book as he examines the social and political history of the archetypical petite bourgeois,the self-employed craftsmen of France.