Charles De Gaulle — A Biography by Don Cook (Seeker & Warburg, £15.
THE AUTHOR is American and one soon gets used to the strange spelling. De Gaulle's life
is covered from birth to death but, of course, most of the book is devoted to World War 11. '
Having failed the Staff College, Petain looked after him and guided the start of his military career. It must have been hard for De Gaulle to have had to imprison him after the War.
Lonely and impassive he not only wanted to lead but also to command and in consequence had few close friends. His own words make this clear: "There can be no prestige without mystery."
On some occasions he was quite impossible to his allies but he got his way on most occasions. His one passion was the Honour of France. His power was intransigence.
In the end he was the saviour of France, established a new Republic which kept western Europe free from Communism. His greatest success was the solution of the Algerian problem.
For a book without any photographs £15 seems expensive.
Monckton of Brenchley