Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General de Gaulle” as Want to Read:
The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General de Gaulle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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
Published February 24th 1997 by Wiley (first published January 1st 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Great Frenchman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Great Frenchman

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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.
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
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
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
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.
Sven Gyseghem
rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2013
Kristian Lund
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2013
Harsh Upadhyay
rated it liked it
Feb 29, 2016
T.F. Marine
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2017
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2016
Abdallah Hegazy
rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2013
Jeffrey Brooks
rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2015
Marc Boisseau
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2013
rated it it was ok
Sep 27, 2010
Konrad Mazurek
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2015
Will A
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2016
Sheryl Clarke
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2013
Andy Walker
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2012
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2012
Martin Chudik
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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
More about Charles Williams...