FRANCE, TROUBLED ALLY: De Gaulle's Heritage and Prospects by

FRANCE, TROUBLED ALLY: De Gaulle's Heritage and Prospects

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, an associate professor of politics at Princeton University, has written a monumental study of post-war French policy, under the sponsorship of the Council on Foreign Relations. In it he tries to prove that France, as a great power, is in decline and that its various governments have been using every tactic available to postpone the day of reckoning. He frankly does not expect De Gaulle's attempts to revive France's so-called ""grandeur"" to succeed. Although the professor has marshalled considerable facts and arguments to back his thesis, these facts will not necessarily add up to the same conclusions for everyone. He is inclined to pass over lightly some of the more subtle qualities of French resourcefulness that have made it possible for France to regain its eminent position after a number of severe setbacks in the last century. Who could have predicted, for example, that after the defeat of Napoleon and the loss of the American possessions that France would have had the energy and ambition to build another empire in Africa and Asia? Who could have predicted that after the humiliating defeat of 1870 France would have ever regained any kind of position resembling that of a world power? And who can predict what French resourcefulness will eventually stake out for itself in the future world? Professor Furniss' study, which is admirable for its comprehensiveness, covers fifteen years of post-war French policy. Fifteen years is a very short time in the complete span of French history from which to draw a kind of inexorable conclusion for all the rest of French history.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1960
Publisher: Harper