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A Taste for Intrigue

The Multiple Lives of François Mitterrand

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Description

The man who changed the course of modern France

In 1981, François Mitterrand became France's first popularly elected socialist president. By the time he completed his mandate, he had led the country for 14 years, longer than any other French head of state in modern times. Mitterrand mirrored France in all its imperfections and tragedies, its cowardice and glory, its weakness and its strength.

In the wake of the Observatory affair (in which he orchestrated his own assassination attempt), his secretiveness and mistrust grew more pronounced, especially when details of a second family came to light; he was a mixture of "Machiavelli, Don Corleone, Casanova and the Little Prince," said his doctor.

During the German occupation, Mitterrand hedged his bets by joining Petain's Vichy government. Later in 1943, under the nom de guerre of Morland (and 30 other aliases), Mitterrand quit Vichy for the Resistance and a paramilitary organization.
He changed the ground rules of French social and political debate in ways more far-reaching and fundamental than any other modern leader before him, helping set the agenda for France and Europe for generations to come. Philip Short's A Taste for Intrigue will fill the gap and become the standard against which all other Mitterrand biographies are set.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 23, 2013 – Celebrated biographer Short (Mao: A Life) again proves himself an adept storyteller in this look at France's magnetic former president Mitterrand, bringing him back to life with a deeply intimate and intriguing history. Short leaves no cycle of the president's life uncovered, with his childhood and upbringing foreshadowing his post-war years as a Socialist Party activist and unlikely rise to the presidency in 1981. Brought up in a Catholic, conservative environment, Mitterrand's ideals were shattered during his time as a WWII soldier and later a prisoner of war. No longer able to fully defend the lifestyle he had known, he began his political career careening through the ranks of the Socialist party, secretly battling his family's ideology with a politics he grew to defend and represent. However, Mitterrand indeed lived multiple lives, and his indecisiveness was a constant factor throughout. Even in his personal life the president maintained two separate and happy relationships: one with his lifelong partner and wife, Danielle, and another with his mistress, Anne. Both supporters and opponents admitted to Mitterrand's political brilliance as well as his considerable charm, and Short's well-constructed work makes both abundantly clear.
A Taste for Intrigue
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Apr 08, 2014
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 640 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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