Tiersky, Ronald. (1997) "France and European integration: Revisionist thoughts on Gaullism and Giscardism, 1962-81". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
In this short re-reading of the de Gaulle and Giscard periods in French policy toward European integration, I intend mainly to pass on some of de Gaulle’s private conversations, as recorded in an extraordinary book by Alain Peyrefitte, C’était de Gaulle (1994). It’s a marvelously insightful and entertaining book, which hasn’t received the attention outside France it deserves, perhaps partly because "the many wives of Mitterrand" "fuilleton" took center stage for the last few years. But in my judgment, reading Peyrefitte’s De Gaulle is one of the most profitable studies in re-reading and revising our views of French politics in the Fifth Republic that one can do. Peyrefitte was de Gaulle’s young press spokesman and then Minister of Information, meaning the one who dealt with the then government-owned and controlled radio-television network, at a time when France had only two or three TV channels, and the Evening News was a great partisan political stake. Peyrefitte, who has also published remarkable books on China, for years diligently wrote down de Gaulle’s utterances, and unless Peyrefitte has even less credibility in the sort of verbatim rendering than Jacques Attali, we can assume that we have largely le vrai de Gaulle here.
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