Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

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There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance.

Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries.

Gen, Charles de Gaulle leads a triumphant procession down Champs-Elysees as part of the celebration of the liberation of Paris. To the right of de Gaulle is General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, Commander of the French Armored Division. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Gen, Charles de Gaulle leads a triumphant procession down Champs-Elysees as part of the celebration of the liberation of Paris. To the right of de Gaulle is General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, Commander of the French Armored Division. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about the deficiencies French military strategy, his creation of a government-in-exile after Nazi Germany’s invasion and the…

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