A Certain Idea of France: French Security Policy and the Gaullist Legacy

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A Certain Idea of France: French Security Policy and the Gaullist Legacy

By Philip H. Gordon
Princeton University Press, 1993
255 pp. $35.00
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In examining de Gaulle's views on French national security and his legacy, this book begins with a finely balanced study of de Gaulle, acknowledging the genuineness of his emotional commitment and his extraordinary political skill, which included his ability to convey the dictates of greatness to a people defeated and distracted by the wars in Indochina and Algeria. The author complements the biographical material with a good survey of Gaullist elements in subsequent defense policies. He sees special relevance for today, given that the post-Cold War world-with the reassertion of nation states, the end of ideology and the potential of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals-seems to resemble de Gaulle's vision. Well written and lucidly argued.

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