The French are a people who have astonished the world in every field of achievement, who have known every form of glory, but who have failed to find institutions that give them a political way of life worthy of their genius. Once again the world is faced with the prospect of yet another change in the French system. And what arouses the concern of France and her friends is the possibility of army intervention into politics. It would be unreasonable to assume that the army's interest in political affairs has slackened now that Algeria has gone; defeat seems to have raised Fascism on its haunches, growling. What Mr. Meisel has to say about the army's role in bringing about the fall of the Fourth French Republic, and about the struggles of the Fifth Republic against renewed attempts of the same army to impose its will upon the government, and about the development of a military ideology of power, make up the substance of this important book. These problems concern not only the French; the development of a military theory in a democratic society which attacks all the traditional assumptions of civilian government merits the attention of intelligent readers the free world over.