- Member of the French Communist Party
- Co-founder of Committee for the World Congress Against War
Born in 1873, Henri Barbusse was a French novelist and journalist who became a member of the French Communist Party in 1923 and traveled to the Soviet Union. He later helped form the Committee for the World Congress Against War (CWCAW), which was organized in the 1930s by the same Communist Left that protested the arming of America, Britain, and France in the years preceding World War II. CWCAW’s objective was to prevent the Western powers from developing the force necessary to stop Hitler’s aggression. Under the banner of “peace,” the organization advocated a reliance on appeasement and negotiation, rather than strength.
Barbusse wrote several anti-war novels based on his experiences as a French soldier in WWI. A devoted Stalinist, he wrote a biography of Joseph Stalin called Stalin: A New World Seen Through One Man, in which he refers to the Soviet ruler as a “frank and brilliant man.” Barbusse led press campaigns against French and other writers who criticized the USSR.
Henri Barbusse died in 1935.