Penguin Book

A Certain Idea of France

Julian Jackson

Charles de Gaulle, the towering figure in twentieth-century French history is the only Frenchman whose historical significance can be ranked on a level with Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler and Stalin, and certainly the most remarkable French leader since Napoleon.
Julian Jackson explores the contrast between De Gaulle the political figure and Charles the family man, who suffered the tragic premature death of a daughter born with Down's Syndrome. At one level it is hard to think of any Frenchman since Napoleon who has so marked France's history, yet a crucial argument in this new biography is that much of the history de Gaulle supposedly changed would probably have happened anyway - France would have been liberated in 1944 with or without de Gaulle, Algeria would sooner or later have become independent - and his achievement was less to change history than to give it meaning.
The is the first time that De Gaulle's unpublished archives and wartime papers (opened in 2004) have been used by any biographer. This will be the definitive biography of de Gaulle written for a non-French audience.

Julian Jackson is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous books include France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944, shortlisted for the LA Times History Book Award; and The Fall of France. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Publication date
  • Biography and Memoir
  • History
  • Politics and Current Affairs
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
Harvard University Press (PRH Rights)
David Higham Associates
David Higham Associates
David Higham Associates
Audio (Unabridged)
David Higham Associates
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