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The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General de Gaulle
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The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General de Gaulle

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A taut narrative of Charles de Gaulle who, as creator and leader of the Free French during WWII, saved the dignity of France and, as President of the Fifth Republic, brought his country back from the brink of civil war. Details his relationships with major leaders of the twentieth century and introduces material on de Gaulle's personal life which reveals two contradictory ...more
Published February 10th 1997 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 1996)
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Lynne King
I was reminded of this book just now by Mikey B.'s excellent review.

This is a super biography and De Gaulle was discussed on France Inter here in France this morning. They were talking about his wife Yvonne and how she proved to be the right wife for him. It brings to mind the reports we are hearing in the media on our current "tortoise" of a president Hollande who besides being an individual is unfaithful. A public figure has to be beyond reproach.

Who on earth would want to be with Hollande I a
Mikey B.
Great and Obstinate figure of History

Truly a great figure of the 20th century. As the author points out, de Gaulle would have been a minor footnote in French history if he had died before 1940. At the age of 50 he stepped unto English soil after leaving France where he had been condemned to death for refusing to go along with the French government in signing the armistice with Germany. His strength and moral courage brought France out of the abyss of collaboration with the Germans, to (once aga
I learned a lot by reading this biography about DeGaulle and about France. De Gaulle was obstinate and imperious with a sense of destiny and and honor. He never wavered from his conviction that France was a great country and that he was the savior of his country. He saved France twice; once in June of 1940 when he refused to accept defeat at the hands of the Germans and he rallied the free French movement. He led the country briefly in 1946 but refused to enter the fray of palaimentry politics w ...more
Lauren Albert
This was more a political biography than an intimate one. I didn't feel I really got to know De Gaulle as an individual but I did learn a lot about his role(s) in the world he lived in. What I found most fascinating were the behind-the-scenes looks at the bickering and negotiating that went on between Free France, Britain and the United States. I hadn't realized that the Allies had tried to work with Vichy France, according to Williams, in order to keep them out of the war. But they ended in pre ...more
A good one volume overview of the life of General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French during World War 2 and creator of the French 5th Republic.

The writer pays attention to both the political and the personal life of the General and we end up getting a good feel of the complex character of De Gaulle. Whether De Gaulle is in fact the Last Great Frenchman is of course open to debate and one's own political persuasion. What becomes clear from this biography is the strong conviction and tow
Josh Mitchell
Well written and easily holding my attention from de Gaulle's early life through the end of WW2, this falls off sharply in the account of post-war de Gaulle. It becomes sloppy and choppy, and a bit of a slog to get through.
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Charles Walter Stansby Williams is probably best known, to those who have heard of him, as a leading member (albeit for a short time) of the Oxford literary group, the "Inklings", whose chief figures were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. He was, however, a figure of enormous interest in his own right: a prolific author of plays, fantasy novels (strikingly different in kind from those of his friends), ...more
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