Since 1895, When the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT) was born, the trade union movement in France has experienced a turbulent century of development that has had an enormous impact on French polity, society and economy. During this time, the French labour movement has occupied a unique and crucial place in the European working class movement. In February 1996, Colombia University and New York University marked the centennial of the French labour movement by jointly sponsoring a conference to reflect on the history of this movement and on the future prospects for trade unionism in France. This book presents a collection of papers presented at that conference, written by distinguished historians and social scientists from both France and the United States, as well as by important French trade union leaders. Offering an interdisciplinary approach, this volume examines the trajectory of the French labour movement and provides lessons for students of contemporary France, western European politics and society, and comparative labour movements.