It is widely believed that interest among Communists and Catholics in the possible mutual benefits of co-operation is a Latin American phenomenon of recent vintage dating back no earlier than the late 1940s. In fact, in the years before World War II the Christian-Marxist dialogue in France proceeded on a level of sophistication unmatched since. Partly in response to the looming threat of fascism, in 1936 the French Communist Party (PCF) went public with its reformulated policy toward Catholics, offering to replace the antagonist's clenched fist with the outstretched hand of friendship. Murphy's study focuses on the constancy of the PCF's appeal to French Catholics, especially Catholic workers, for the next four years. Although French Catholics generally rejected the outstretched hand, the echoes of that Christian/Marxist dialogue sound again today in France, Poland, Nicaragua and Cuba, and throughout Latin America.