Mitterrand: A Political Biography

Mitterrand: A Political Biography

Mitterrand: A Political Biography

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

Excerpt

I lived my childhood in another century and had to make an effort to jump into ours.

-- François Mitterrand.

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was born on October 26, 1916, in Jarnac in southwestern France, 271 miles southwest of Paris, 67 miles east of Bordeaux, and 9 miles away from Cognac. Jarnac, a small town in Charente of approximately 5,000 inhabitants, has, like its native son, an interesting history. It is located on the banks of the Charente River in the heart of the Cognac vineyards; one of the prominent features of this small town is the presence of a large Courvoisier distillery. Originally named Agernacus in Celtic times, the town played a key role in the prosperity of Saintonge, one of the ancient provinces of western France. During the Roman occupation it was a significant pottery center. In the Middle Ages the town was a fortress; it was alternately captured and sacked by the Arabs and the Vikings, and then subsequently during the Hundred Years' War by the English and the French. Before the birth of François Mitterrand, however, Jarnac was known to the outside world for two events that occurred in the sixteenth century.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.