By Sir DESMOND MORTON
THE MAN WHO IS FRANCE: The story of Charles de Gaulle, by Brigadier Stanley Clark. O.B.E. (Harrap & Co.. Ltd.. 15s.).
JUSTICE has still to be done to the epic of Charles de Gaulle. Brigadier Stanley Clark has made a valiant start for readers of English, which include many citizens of the United States.
All these should read this book. to see how. though perhaps not why. their wartime leaders, English little less than American, nearly drove de Gaulle into failure and obscurity. Had they succeeded, where and what would 1-rance be today'?
Also because the future of more than France now depends upon de
Gaulle's purpose and actions, success or failure.
At the heart
ACERTAIN sort of France, situated as is that country at the heart of the diamond, Germany, Italy, Spain, and England, is essential for the security and slicer continuity of European civilisation; not only in the sphere of defence, power politics, and war, but in the far more important aspect of ethics, ideals. and the missal advance or regression of mankind.
R has been said often that de Gaulle only sees France as he thinks she ought to be and not as she is. This is quite incorrect and a failure to understand the nature of the man.
He has a clear vision of what his France should be, with no illusions about her immediate shortfall from that high level of being: but he never doubts and has never doubted her latent ability-can that but be called up into actionto manifest in reality what he regards as her true self.
There is no doubt that the France of his vision is essentially that sort of France which, if not betrayed by her natural allies, those nations ambitious for the same broad ideals and ends, is essential to the common progress of Europe and the human race towards justice, truth, and decency.
THE book covers the whole life of de Gaulle in under 200 pages. Three times that length would hardly suffice to analyse the interplay of personalities; whence it is astonishing how much important information it includes.
There arc some inaccuracies in detail and some omissions, but, whether these arise through lack of knowledge or discretion, none affect the accuracy or the relevance of the main great and moving story, well and truly told. It might have been better to have omitted most of the short last chapter dealing with matters still in ferment.
The actions and reactions of English persons and policies during the late war are dealt with roost tactfully-too much so.