France and Italy are very often paired in the comparative analysis of advanced industrial democracies as systems with much in common and important distinctive features setting them off from others. The postwar political-economic settlements in the two countries were, in fact, remarkably similar. United Resistance-Liberation fronts which included Communists ruled in the immediate aftermath of war, implementing major programs of social and institutional reform. The response of the CGIL is important from a comparative perspective. The dilemmas and tensions caused by changes in the political and economic environment were similar for the French and Italian Communist-dominated unions. The profound differences between French maximalism and Italian interventionism are clearly delineated in the separate country chapters. French maximalism was marked by a belligerent and principled refusal to play any role in the 'management of the crisis' or to establish any type of cooperative relationship with those who had been and still were running the national economy and individual firms.