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Testimony: France, Europe, and the World in the Twenty-First Centuryby Nicolas Sarkozy
Synopses & Reviews
In an important book from the newly elected president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy sets forth his personal vision of France's role in world affairs and his plans for modernizing the country and equipping it for the twenty-first century.
Testimony begins with a series of remarkable episodes from President Sarkozy's career. Trained as a lawyer, he entered politics as a grassroots party organizer for the Gaullist movement in the 1970s. His political career moved forward with triumphs and setbacks, revealing a fascinating and complex political personality in the making. His episodic narrative illuminates the brash, provocative, passionate, and open-minded style that assured his success and provides a refreshing contrast to France's stagnant, elite-dominated political culture.
With unusual candor, President Sarkozy describes the difficulties France has faced in recent years—high unemployment, social tensions, inadequate education, a government that has not been responsive or responsible when confronting economic and social problems. In international relations, he calls for a new approach to the way France positions itself in the world. He is a great admirer of the United States and writes: "I stand by France's friendship with the United States, I'm proud of it, and I have no intention of apologizing for feeling an affinity with the greatest democracy in the world." In Testimony, he explores what this will mean for France's traditionally independent foreign policy. His vision for Europe is equally ambitious and far-reaching; his iconoclastic views on Israel and the Arab world, Africa, globalization, immigration, and the environment promise a sharp break with the past.
The ideas of France's new president are probably more daring, coherent, and compelling than those of any French leader in decades. Furthermore, he remains optimistic about France, insisting that the country is eager to embrace profound change. Bold, pragmatic, a risk-taker, President Sarkozy sets forth an exciting new direction for France as it enters the world of the twenty-first century.
Book News Annotation:
Having been elected president of France, conservative politician Sarkozy revises a book published in English in 2006 by Pantheon, itself translated by Gordon (Brookings Institute) and compiled from three books published by XO Éditions between 2001 and 2006. There is no index or bibliography. Annotation Â©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In his international bestseller, France's leading presidential candidate and outspoken interior minister calls for an end to French arrogance and complacency and serves up some bracing news to his countrymen and the world.
“ This book presents my analysis of the difficulties France faces. It outlines my proposals for putting France back on the path toward economic growth, social justice, and modernity. And it addresses many of the common domestic, international, economic, and social challenges that advanced democracies like France and the United States must confront.” So writes Nicolas Sarkozy– France’ s outspoken and controversial minister of the interior and a leading presidential candidate– in the new preface to the American edition of his best-selling memoir.
He analyzes the difficulties facing France– social tensions, inadequate education, high unemployment. But far from drawing fatalistic conclusions, he demonstrates that France does not suffer from an identity crisis but from a crisis of political debate. He accuses French political figures, sometimes harshly, of having deprived the public of their own say in government, leading to pervasive suspicion of elites, the state, and proper governance. This book is a testimony to how Nicolas Sarkozy has evolved over the past twenty years as the only French political figure across the entire spectrum to broaden public debate, to confront idé es reç ues, to seek a new direction for France– in short to re-empower the French in their own political deliberations. In Testimony, for which he has drawn fire, Sarkozy issues a wake-up call to his people and the world, setting forth his iconoclastic views on such hot-button issues as international relations vis-à -vis the United States, the Arab world, and Africa; globalization; cultural chauvinism; immigration; the welfare state; education; and lawand order.
Extraordinary for its candor regarding Sarkozy’ s political as well as personal life, Testimony gives us an unsparing critique of contemporary French society and its leaders even as it champions a sharp break with the past. Sarkozy’ s is a brave, new vision for France as it engages the world of the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Nicolas Sarkozy was born in 1955 in Paris. Trained as a lawyer, he has served as president of France's governing political party, the right-of-center Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP, Union for a Popular Movement), mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, and, in earlier national governments, as minister of the budget; minister of communications; minister of the economy, finance, and industry; and as minister of the interior. He was elected president of France in May 2007.
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