Friday, March 22, 2013

In the Shadow of the General

Roger Kaplan reviews the new book about Charles de Gaulle. An excerpt:

Which, of course, is the irony of the story. For if de Gaulle—a man of the right who fought the political right all his life; a devout Catholic who, more than anyone in his time, fought for the sanctity of the values and institutions of the secular Republic; a social Christian and statist who never gave an inch to what he viewed as the totalitarian tendencies of the left—aimed to calm things down by calling off the ancient civil wars of French history, he was also a man of romance and passion, whose life was described as a medieval geste, and who wrote of France as a country of fairytale legend. And yet, he also called the French a bunch of slippers-wearers. 

[I've long been an admirer of de Gaulle and have a portrait of him in my living room, a decor choice which some may regard as a tad eccentric.]


Dan in Philly said...

An arrogant man, with a lot to be arrogant about, it was said.

Michael Wade said...


John Gunther had an interesting observation: Churchill saved his country once. De Gaulle saved his country twice.