The Long March of François Mitterrand

Richard Vinen reveiws the early career of the former French President.

François Mitterrand has had an astonishing career. As a Resistance fighter, he had already met both Petain and de Gaulle when he was in his late twenties. But while his Resistance contemporaries wrote their memoirs in hitter retirement, Mitterrand went on to enjoy a political career that made his early exploits look tame. He was a cabinet minister at the age of thirty, played a key role in the reconstruction of the French Left and became President of the Republic in 1981.

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