Here is a collection of impressions, those of diplomats, political leaders, army men, journalists, novelists, which combine to show ""Nobility and pessimism, courage and anxiety, weakness and strength"", prior to the country's collapse. Peladeau, a young Canadian, arousel in February, 1940 --and remained until shortly after the capitalation. Here are the people, who reserved the right to grumble, to discuss, to criticise, who were demoralized by the lack of organization of the country, who trusted the war -- its -- its leadership. Here are its intellectual leaders , as the author accured interviews, Girardoux, Haurras, Duhamel, Mauriac, Bor, and what they thought. An intelligent and aware compilation of public opinion -- high and low -- which forms a good appraisal of the country before its fall.