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Yuk’s Last Laugh

Tim Parks: Flaubert

15 December 2016
by Michel Winock, translated by Nicholas Elliott.
Harvard, 528 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 674 73795 2
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... guillotine’. ‘If I ever do take an active part in the world,’ he concluded, as if he were far more likely to decide not to, ‘it will be as a thinker and demoraliser.’ In his new biography, MichelWinock is inclined to dismiss this as juvenile posturing, yet his generous quotation from notes and letters written throughout Flaubert’s life shows a remarkable continuity of attitude. From ...

Who’s best?

Douglas Johnson

27 September 1990
The Rise and Fall of Anti-Americanism: A Century of French Perception 
edited by Denis Lacorne, Jacques Rupnik and Marie-France Toinet, translated by Gerald Turner.
Macmillan, 258 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 333 49025 8
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... parade down the Champs Elysées on 26 August 1944. De Gaulle, in his memoirs, says of this general’s order: ‘Naturally, I paid no attention.’ With the Cold War, French anti-Americanism, as MichelWinock puts it, grew immeasurably. Intellectuals claimed that, faced with a choice between the USA and the USSR, they would have to choose the Russians, because it was with them that the future lay ...

The Greatest

R.W. Johnson

4 August 1994
Charles de Gaulle, Futurist of the Nation 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 111 pp., £29.95, April 1994, 0 86091 622 7
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De Gaulle and 20th-Century France 
edited by Hugh Gough and John Horne.
Edward Arnold, 158 pp., £12.99, March 1994, 0 340 58826 8
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François Mitterrand: A Study in Political Leadership 
by Alistair Cole.
Routledge, 216 pp., £19.99, March 1994, 0 415 07159 3
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... egomania ... A far more balanced account of de Gaulle’s gifts is to be found in Gough and Home’s collection of essays, which includes chapters by Douglas Johnson, René Rémond, Julian Jackson, MichelWinock and Serge Berstein. Perhaps the most interesting contribution, however, is Jean-Marie Mayeur’s essay on ‘De Gaulle as Politician and Christian’, for the whole point about de Gaulle was ...

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