By Philip Short

A definitive biography of 1 of the 20th century's so much glamorous, complex political figures.
As a political candidate and as a guy, from the Nineteen Thirties until eventually his demise in 1996, François Mitterrand was once the incarnation of the mercurial, contrarian France which Britain and the United States locate so perennially problematic to deal with.

A prisoner of conflict and an escapee, he was once hence either embellished for his provider to the Vichy executive and a servant of the Resistance; he used to be a right-wing firebrand within the Nineteen Forties, a centrist within the 50s and 60s, prior to devoting the remainder of his occupation to the left. He used to be accused of leaking secrets and techniques to Moscow, of faking an assassination try out opposed to himself, of numerous different intrigues. And but he possessed a top quality of greatness and a air of mystery which left his rivals within the shade. 

To comprehend Mitterrand is to appreciate France in all its ambiguities and contradictions, its cowardice and glory, its turpitudes and tragedies. it is a lifestyles full of drama.

Mitterrand used to be a guy of significant presents and endless colours of deviousness, an aesthete and highbrow, a sensualist, a criminal. And what Philip brief provides us is a human up to a political biography -- the lifetime of an incredibly gifted and exceedingly unsuitable guy who made his profession in politics unintentionally and went directly to develop into France's longest-serving head of country in a century.

Show description

Read or Download Mitterrand: A Study in Ambiguity PDF

Similar france books

In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France

A pleasant get together of French existence and the chefs who flip even the best foodstuff into an party
Even sooner than Susan Herrmann Loomis wrote her now-classic memoir, On Rue Tatin, American readers were pressured through books concerning the French’s ease with cooking. With In a French Kitchen, Loomis—an expat who some time past traded her American supermarket for a bustling French farmer’s market—demystifies in full of life prose the possible easy je ne sais quoi in the back of an easy French meal.
One via one, readers are invited to satisfy the busy humans of Louviers and surrounding villages and cities of Loomis’s followed domestic, from runway-chic Edith, who has 0 ardour for cooking—but a love of nutrients that conjures up her to whip up an array of mouthwatering dishes—to Nathalie, who turns into misty-eyed as she talks approximately her mother’s Breton cooking, then is going directly to reproduce it. via associates and friends like those, Loomis learns that scrumptious, even decadent nutrients don’t need to be complicated.
Are French chefs greater prepared while making plans and buying? have they got a better skill to improvise with no matter what they've got available whilst unforeseen visitors arrive? the reply to either is: convinced. yet in addition they have an innate figuring out of foodstuff and cooking, are instinctively acquainted with seasonal produce, and comprehend what mix of easy constituents will deliver out the easiest in their gardens or neighborhood markets.
Thankfully for American readers, In a French Kitchen stocks the typical French counsel, secrets and techniques, and eighty-five recipes that permit them to show each meal right into a luxurious party.

Napoleons Scouts Of The Imperial Guard

Napoleon's final 'Campaign of France' in 1814 proved to be one in every of his so much superb. He relied as by no means prior to on committing his elite Imperial safeguard cavalry to conflict. He raised 3 new regiments of crack Éclaireurs – 'Scouts' – that have been connected to the defend fastened Grenadiers, Empress's Dragoons and varnish Lancers respectively which might counterattack the Cossacks and assemble very important info.

The Other Heading: Reflections on Today’s Europe

Triggered by way of the unification of Europe in 1992 and via fresh occasions in japanese Europe and the Soviet Union, Jacques Derrida starts this compelling essay on modern global politics with the difficulty of eu identification. What, he asks, is Europe? How has Europe typically been outlined and the way is the present international scenario altering that definition?

Additional resources for Mitterrand: A Study in Ambiguity

Sample text

It would take them another year to realise that his meaning was not what they thought. For de Gaulle such ambiguity was discretionary. For Mitterrand it was systemic. Laurent Fabius, his Prime Minister in the 1980s, wrote perceptively that ‘the key to Mitterrand’s personality, to his extraordinary success, to his [political] longevity and his energy, the key to the fascination which he exerted on others . . was his staggering and quite exceptional ambivalence . . a deep-seated, metaphysical ambivalence which made him view everything as both itself and its opposite, every person as both good and bad, every situation as containing the seeds of both tragedy and hope’.

Six hours before the attack, he had sent a letter to himself at a poste restante address describing in detail what was to happen. A bailiff accompanied him when he collected it and attested to the time on the postmark. For the press and for public opinion, it followed that Pesquet must be telling the truth. The only possible explanation was that he and Mitterrand had concocted the whole thing together. Overnight, from having been a hero, Mitterrand became a bad joke; at best a naïve dupe, at worst an incompetent trickster whose machinations had come unstuck, deserving, as one newspaper put it, ‘not hate, but a certain contempt’.

Afterwards with three companions, he drove to the Champs-Elysées, the great thoroughfare that points like an arrow into the heart of Paris, descending from the Arc de Triomphe to the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre. They bought Paris-Presse at a news-stand and stopped at a café, the Pam Pam, to discuss the story over a drink. ‘It seems things are coming to a head,’ Mitterrand murmured. At his suggestion they drove back to St Germain des Prés on the Left Bank, not far from his home, to have a nightcap at the Brasserie Lipp.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.93 of 5 – based on 24 votes