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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

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  8 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
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Published February 24th 1997 by Wiley (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
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Mikey B.
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, france
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
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Bap
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
Dan Cohen
A solid and readable biography of de Gaulle. I found particularly interesting the material on his antipathy to "the Anglo-Saxons" and his complicated relationship with Petain. Worth reading.
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
Roberto
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
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AskHistorians
If you want political history, here's where you can go for it. Williams' study of Charles de Gaulle is a little old, but the best one out there. Did you know he was six foot five? Or that his daughter had Down's syndrome, and he set up a charity for her? Williams does a good job with the political history of de Gaulle's life, but he doesn't forget about the man himself. Not an easy task, when he's more or less been lost to legend.
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 Cuthbert Powell Williams, Baron Williams of Elvel CBE (born 9 February 1933) is a manager and Labour peer. In his 20s he played first-class cricket while at university and for several seasons afterwards.

The son of N. P. Williams and Muriel de Lérisson Cazenove, he was educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in literae humaniores in
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