Since the revolution, French history has been marked by moments that promise progress but end in bitter failure. The election of the Popular Front in 1936 was one such example, says Jonathan Fenby.
Following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, France’s Bourbon monarchy was restored. It was the first, fragile step in a diminished state’s return to the family of European nations.
Exiled in London in June 1940, with France on the brink of defeat, Charles de Gaulle broadcast a speech that was to create an enduring bond between him and his country, writes Jonathan Fenby.
The year 2009 sees a remarkable coincidence of anniversaries that tell the history of modern China. Some will be celebrated by the authorities on a grand scale, others will be wilfully ignored, but all reveal important aspects of the country’s past, as Jonathan Fenby explains.