In This Review

The Black and the Red: François Mitterrand-The Story of an Ambition
The Black and the Red: François Mitterrand-The Story of an Ambition
By Catherine Nay
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987, 416 pp
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A popular biography with a rather deceptive title: Mitterrand's has been a rich, ambitious life of great duality, but there has been nothing particularly Stendhalian about it. An anecdotal, breezy account of his rise in French politics, including his outmaneuvering of the Communists, whom he courted even as he always opposed them. Nay believes he wanted to become a "left-wing De Gaulle"; he has not. A secretive man, with perhaps few secrets, he remains elusive in a book that gives meager references to the sources used.