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“A page-turner”: The biography of a soldier, politician, and leader of the French people, as controversial and complex as he was courageous (The New York Times Book Review).
No leader of modern times was more uniquely patriotic than Charles de Gaulle. As founder and first president of the Fifth Republic, General de Gaulle saw himself as “carrying France on [his] shoulders.”
In his twenties, he fought for his country in the trenches and at the epic battle of Verdun. In the 1930s, he waged a lonely battle to enable France to better resist Hitler’s Germany. Thereafter, he rescued the nation from defeat and decline with his extraordinary leadership, political acumen, daring, and bluff, heading off civil war and leaving a legacy adopted by his successors.
“Le Général,” as he became known, appeared as stoic as a block of granite—but was in fact extremely complex, a man with deep personal feelings and recurrent mood swings, devoted to his family and often seeking reassurance from those around him.
This is an epic portrait of one of the great leaders of the twentieth century and of the country with which he so closely identified. Written with verve, narrative skill, and rigorous detail, The General brings to life the private man as well as the public leader as never before.