THE CASE FOR DE GAULLE: An American Viewpoint by John Hess

THE CASE FOR DE GAULLE: An American Viewpoint

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Presumably, the current Francophobia is reciprocal: Americans hate De Gaulle because he hates us. But New York Times Paris correspondent Hess builds a strong case to show that De Gaulle is not anti-American -- he is just very pro-French -- and that ultimately many of his high-handed policies may even benefit the United States. Hess focuses on six of the general's ""outrageous"" policies: NATO (ordering the U.S. to remove its troops from France), Israel (seeing mechanized Israel as Goliath despite popular opinion), the Common Market (making the British grovel for entry), the war on the American dollar (not really De Gaulle's fault anyway; he merely defended France from the ""poisoned gift"" of American investment), Vietnam (outspokenly anti-war, but so is most of Europe), and Quebec (inciting to separatism). In general, Hess feels that De Gaulle's stance will be vindicated by history or already has been, even in the instance of the visit to Canada when his behavior ""could scarcely be defended by anybody but, perhaps, a French-Canadian."" Hess never gets bowled over by le grand Charles, though he appreciates the general's wilfulness: ""Charles De Gaulle is, let's face it, a shocking man."" But neither is the book entirely objective. It is an apologia of the highest order, steeped in issues and bolstered by able arguments.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow