Margaret Sankey's Reviews > Des gens très bien

Des gens très bien by Alexandre Jardin
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

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bookshelves: french

As a counter to his father's hagiography of grandfather Jean Jardin (chief of staff to Pierre Laval), Alexandre Jardin pieces together what his family actually did under Vichy--yes, Jean saved a few personal friends who were Jews, but collaborated competently if not enthusiastically with the Nazis on the understanding that it was better to save remnants of French sovereignty by having the French governmental apparatus handle matters rather than the German occupiers. And then kept a photo of Laval on his office desk as he served in a variety of high-ranking bureaucratic jobs until the 1970s. History is very messy.
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