Mitterrand: A Political Biography

Synopsis

"In this illuminating portrait of Europe's perhaps most skillful tactician, Northcutt examines Francois Mitterrand's long and fascinating political career and chronicles his two-term presidency in detail, focusing on the day-to-day challenges he has faced in domestic and foreign affairs. When the socialist Mitterrand was elected President of France, with the aid of an electoral alliance with the French Communist Party, many assumed that unsettling change and political instability would result. But by the end of his first term in office, Mitterrand had led the transformation of his Socialist Party from what had been a minority opposition into a consensus government dedicated to modernization, pluralism, power sharing, and liberal reform. At the time of his re-election in 1988, Mitterrand had fashioned a stable centrist republic - situated between the Gaullists on the right and the communists on the left - and in so doing revitalized French politics and the French Left. Yet, for many, Mitterrand has remained an elusive figure: enigmatic personality, intellectual humanist, shrewd pragmatist, strong-willed and skillful politician. Mitterrand: A Political Biography succeeds in providing an informed and revealing closeup of this complex man from the vantage point of the Elysee Palace as it lays bare the intricate dynamics of socialist government in France." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved