Francois Mitterrand is one of France's most famous twentieth-century politicians, yet interpretations of his values and leadership vary widely. Alistair Cole starts with a chronological overview of Mitterrand's career which is developed into a policy-based assessment of Mitterrand's presidency from 1981-93.
By evaluating Mitterrand's policies in relation to various key roles such as the party leader, the President, the dispenser of patronage, the European statesman and the World Leader, this book places his leadership in comparative perspective, and offers a new understanding of him as an individual political leader. This book will be invaluable for students of contemporary European politics as well for those interested in the career of one of Europe's leading statesmen.
`Cole has very thoroughly and usefull set down the details of Mitterrand's career.' - London Review of Books
`Cole's conventional but readable study attempts to rescue Mitterrand form the common perception that his is nothing more than a cynical manoeuvrer. To Mitterrand, politics may be a game and accommodation the best strategy for playing, but cole tries to discern grander motivations beyond calculation. - New Statesman & Society
`... the book has considerable merits, being thoroughly researched, comprehensive, clear and well organized, with coherent chapters on major themes such as Mitterrand's ambivalent relationship with the Socialist Party, his "governing style" and the functioning of the presidency. The chapters on European and world policy are particularly lucid.' - Times Literary Supplement
`The book is of value to students both of France and of political leadership. It also contributes to an understanding of how a consequential individual reflects, combines, exploits and ultimately expresses the labyrinthine traditions of French politics.' - Political Studies
`Cole's well researched book should stimulate debate on Mitterrand's contribution to his times.' - The Independent
` ...students of politics and international relations will undoubtedly enjoy the informed analyses ...this book is most informative about the evolving French political context. ....Many academics will hope that the paperback is out in time for the considerable student demand... ' - LSE Magazine