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During the 1930s, Gide briefly became a communist, or more precisely, a fellow traveller (he never formally joined the Communist Party). As a distinguished writer sympathising with the cause of communism, he was invited to tour the Soviet Union as a guest of the Soviet Union of writers. The tour disillusioned him and he subsequently became quite critical of Soviet Communism. This criticism of Communism caused him to lose socialist friends, especially when he made a clean break with it in this book Return From The USSR first published in the 1930's.