The Long Presidency: France In The Mitterrand Years, 1981-1995

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9780813328515: The Long Presidency: France In The Mitterrand Years, 1981-1995
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"A balanced, yet critical, review of Mitterrand's fourteen-year presidency. Friend has crowned a long career as an expert on French politics with this astute analysis and assessment of a decisive chapter in the history of French Socialism. This is contemporary history at its best." ―Richard Kuisel SUNY, Stony Brook "An intelligent and highly readable account of the Mitterrand years that, Friend argues, have changed the political landscape of France. ... A very good example of instant history" ―Fritz Stern Foreign Affairs In this informed and balanced treatment of recent French history, Julius Friend analyzes the changes, successes, and failures in the long and checkered record of the former French president, Francois Mitterrand. Extensive interviews with French politicians and intellectuals complement his original research. Mitterrand was in office longer than any other democratic president, but Friend asks lis to consider the legacy of such a term. Elected in 1981 on a platform of radical reorganization of the French economy and society, Mitterrand was compelled to change policy within two years. Conventional austerity replaced socialist measures, and his second term was spotted by scandal and weakened by illness. The Mitterrand era saw the end of French hopes to be first among equals in Western Europe; instead, Mitterrand inaugurated a partnership with unified Germany in the European Union.

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About the Author:

Julius W. Friend is professorial lecturer in European history at George Washington University.

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Francois Mitterrand held the presidency of France for two consecutive seven-year terms, longer than any previously elected French head of state. In this volume, Friend (European history, George Washington Univ.) extends an earlier work, Seven Years in France (Westview, 1989), a study of Mitterrand's first term. The arrangement is chronological, tracing Mitterrand's career: military service, POW status, work in the Vichy regime, espousal of socialism, and emergence as a national leader. Other areas covered include Mitterrand's relations with the Communist Party and "cohabitation" with Premier Jacques Chirac's rightist RPR majority, the scandals of his second term, and his successes and failures. The author conducted more than 300 interviews with French political leaders and observers, noting the difficulty in attempting an assessment of events so close to their occurrence. But he succeeds in presenting an objective account of the leader, his era, and his impact. Recommended for public and academic libraries.?Harry E. Whitmore, formerly with Univ. of Maine at Augusta
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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