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De Gaulle: Statesmanship, Grandeur, and Modern Democracy Hardcover – May 14, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0275949228 ISBN-10: 0275949222

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 14, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275949222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275949228
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,639,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of Daniel Mahoney's great merits is to reconstitute, on the basis of de Gaulle's writings, de Gaulle's view of the whole, of politics and of the human condition in general. He shows in a convincing manner that, contrary to a reproach often leveled against him, de Gaulle was not at all "Nietzschean..,."I admire the fact that Daniel Mahoney--who already has published a remarkable work on Raymond Aron--understands French things so well. I admire even more the power of the work, the fertile passion and the intelligence with which he strives to comprehend the human meaning of politics."-from the foreword by Pierre Manent Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Book Description

Shows de Gaulle's relevance to larger concerns of democracy and statesmanship.


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Smith on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
With this book, you will go a long way towards understanding the congenitally misunderstood figure of Charles de Gaulle. And he's well worth understanding. This book is not a biography and is not organized chronologically. Rather, each chapter delves into different aspects of his political philosophy -- what were his ideas and where did he get them from?
Here is a sampling of some of the themes explored in this book: How de Gaulle interpreted French history, with a discreet preference for the Old Regime and ambivalence towards Napoleon, whose grandeur led him to contempt for moral and physical limits. An analysis of his early writings where he gives a self-portrait describing the "man of character" who is "made for great deeds." His deep moral sense of Christianity and democracy combined with his "egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning." How de Gaulle came to his 1940 decision that resistance was the only legitimate course of action. Why he saw the "constitutional correction" of 1958 as necessary. His views on European union.

The author is obviously admiring of de Gaulle but does not brush away his weak points -- the main one perhaps being that de Gaulle rhetorically treated the two superpowers as though they were an equal danger to France. In the end de Gaulle emerges as a supporter of democracy, but one who is not afraid to criticize its negative aspects. His idea that one must work against democracy's tendancy to promote mediocrity and conformity of ideas is straight out of Alexis de Tocqueville. If you want to get inside the head of de Gaulle, you've got to get your hands on this slim and profoundly thoughtful volume. I found it absolutely fascinating.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Cundiff on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mahoney has done us the favour of going through De Gaulle's principal writings and speeches to reveal a political philosopher of trenchant insight and immanent applicability. This book is essential for understanding De Gaulle and for his contribution to political thought. It has the grace both to be quite well-written and also to encompass its topic in 150 pages. Especially intriguing is the discussion of De Gaulle's debt to Charles Peguy; especially timely is De Gaulle wise objection to Jean Monnet's European project. De Gaulle was indeed an arrogant man - with much to be arrogant about!

Mahoney is one of the few writers who successfully overturns conventional thinking. Newman taught that the conventional wisdom about the Catholic Faith is wrong. Clyde Wilson has taught that the conventional wisdom about Calhoun is wrong. Thomas DiLorenzo has taught that the conventional wisdom about Lincoln and his war is wrong. Murray Rothbard taught that the conventional wisdom about the Great Depression is wrong. Jim Powell has taught that the conventional wisdom about Franklin Roosevelt is wrong. Thomas Fleming and Jim Powell have taught that the conventional wisdom about Woodrow Wilson is wrong. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has taught that the conventional wisdom about democracy is wrong. Kuehnelt-Leddihn taught that the conventional wisdom about royalism is wrong. Martin van Creveld has taught that the conventional wisdom about war is wrong. Niall Fergusson has taught that the conventional wisdom about World War I is wrong. Böhm-Bawerk taught that the conventional wisdom about Marx is utterly wrong. Dr Atkins taught that the conventional wisdom about dieting is wrong. And Daniel J. Mahoney has taught that the conventional (Anglo-American) wisdom about De Gaulle is wrong.

No small achievement.
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By Francoise D. on August 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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