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A Taste for Intrigue: The Multiple Lives of Francois Mitterrand (John MacRae Books)

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A Taste for Intrigue: The Multiple Lives of Francois Mitterrand (John MacRae Books) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The man who changed the course of modern France

In 1981, François Mitterrand became Frances first popularly elected socialist president. By the time he completed his mandate, he had led the country for 14 years, longer than any other French head of state in modern times. Mitterrand mirrored France in all its imperfections and tragedies, its cowardice and glory, its weakness and its strength.

In the wake of the Observatory affair (in which he orchestrated his own assassination attempt), his secretiveness and mistrust grew more pronounced, especially when details of a second family came to light; he was a mixture of “Machiavelli, Don Corleone, Casanova and the Little Prince,” said his doctor.

During the German occupation, Mitterrand hedged his bets by joining Petains Vichy government. Later in 1943, under the nom de guerre of Morland (and 30 other aliases), Mitterrand quit Vichy for the Resistance and a paramilitary organization.

He changed the ground rules of French social and political debate in ways more far-reaching and fundamental than any other modern leader before him, helping set the agenda for France and Europe for generations to come. Philip Shorts A Taste for Intrigue will fill the gap and become the standard against which all other Mitterrand biographies are set.

Review:

"Celebrated biographer Short (Mao: A Life) again proves himself an adept storyteller in this look at France's magnetic former president Mitterrand, bringing him back to life with a deeply intimate and intriguing history. Short leaves no cycle of the president's life uncovered, with his childhood and upbringing foreshadowing his post-war years as a Socialist Party activist and unlikely rise to the presidency in 1981. Brought up in a Catholic, conservative environment, Mitterrand's ideals were shattered during his time as a WWII soldier and later a prisoner of war. No longer able to fully defend the lifestyle he had known, he began his political career careening through the ranks of the Socialist party, secretly battling his family's ideology with a politics he grew to defend and represent. However, Mitterrand indeed lived multiple lives, and his indecisiveness was a constant factor throughout. Even in his personal life the president maintained two separate and happy relationships: one with his lifelong partner and wife, Danielle, and another with his mistress, Anne. Both supporters and opponents admitted to Mitterrand's political brilliance as well as his considerable charm, and Short's well-constructed work makes both abundantly clear. Agent: Veronique Baxter, David Higham (U.K.). (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Philip Short is the author of several books, among them the definitive biographies Mao: A Life and Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare. He has been a foreign correspondent for The Times (London), The Economist, and the BBC in Uganda, Moscow, China, and Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements          xi


Prologue          1


1. A Family Apart          15


2. The Captive          47


3. Schisms of War          61


4. Loose Ends, New Beginnings          112


5. The Staircase of Power          137


6. Requiem for Empire          170


7. Crossing the Desert          202


8. De Gaulle Again          219


9. Union of the Left          260


10. Politics is War          298


11. The Novitiate          312


12. The Sphinx          377


13. The Florentine          430


14. The Monarch          465


15. The Survivalist          533


16. The Testament          564

Acronyms          583


A Note on Sources          589


Index          597

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805088533
Subtitle:
The Multiple Lives of François Mitterrand
Author:
Short, Philip
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Europe - France
Publication Date:
20140408
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 8-pg. insert with 20 bandw illustratio
Pages:
640
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Europe » France » Post World War II
History and Social Science » Europe » France » World War II
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

A Taste for Intrigue: The Multiple Lives of Francois Mitterrand (John MacRae Books) Used Hardcover
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Product details 640 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805088533 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Celebrated biographer Short (Mao: A Life) again proves himself an adept storyteller in this look at France's magnetic former president Mitterrand, bringing him back to life with a deeply intimate and intriguing history. Short leaves no cycle of the president's life uncovered, with his childhood and upbringing foreshadowing his post-war years as a Socialist Party activist and unlikely rise to the presidency in 1981. Brought up in a Catholic, conservative environment, Mitterrand's ideals were shattered during his time as a WWII soldier and later a prisoner of war. No longer able to fully defend the lifestyle he had known, he began his political career careening through the ranks of the Socialist party, secretly battling his family's ideology with a politics he grew to defend and represent. However, Mitterrand indeed lived multiple lives, and his indecisiveness was a constant factor throughout. Even in his personal life the president maintained two separate and happy relationships: one with his lifelong partner and wife, Danielle, and another with his mistress, Anne. Both supporters and opponents admitted to Mitterrand's political brilliance as well as his considerable charm, and Short's well-constructed work makes both abundantly clear. Agent: Veronique Baxter, David Higham (U.K.). (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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