In the Shadow of the General: Modern France and the Myth of De Gaulle

Hardcover | April 26, 2012

bySudhir Hazareesingh

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In contemporary France, Charles de Gaulle has become a figure of legend, consistently acclaimed as the nation's pre-eminent "historical" figure. But paradoxes abound. For one, his personal popularity sits oddly with his social origins and professional background. Neither the nobility, nor theCatholic Church, nor the Army is particularly well-regarded in France today, as they are seen to represent antiquated traditions and values. So why, then, do the French nonetheless identify with, celebrate, and even revere this austere and devout nobleman, who remained closely wedded to militaryvalues throughout his life? In the Shadow of the General resolves this mystery and explains how de Gaulle has come to occupy such a privileged position in the French imagination. Sudhir Hazareesingh's story of how an individual life was transformed into national myth also tells a great deal about the French collective self in the twenty-first century: its fractured memory, its aspirations to greatness, and its manifold anxieties. Indeed, alongside the tale of de Gaulle'slegacy, the author unfolds a much broader narrative: the story of modern France.

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In contemporary France, Charles de Gaulle has become a figure of legend, consistently acclaimed as the nation's pre-eminent "historical" figure. But paradoxes abound. For one, his personal popularity sits oddly with his social origins and professional background. Neither the nobility, nor theCatholic Church, nor the Army is particularl...

Sudhir Hazareesingh is Fellow of Politics at Balliol College, Oxford University, and Fellow of the British Academy.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 26, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195308883

ISBN - 13:9780195308884

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Table of Contents

Prelude: April 20th 2009, In the Courtyard of the Invalides1. De Gaulle, a French Passion2. Hail to the Liberator3. Sentiment and Reason4. The Spirit of the 18th of June5. Father of the Nation6. Pilgrimages to Colombey7. The Consecration of an iconConclusion: The Last Great FrenchmanSources and Bibliography