Francois Mitterrand was one of the giants of post-war French politics - a master tactician whose political career spanned more than four decades from wartime occupation to decolonization, the Cold War to European integration. As President, elected twice, he enjoyed an unprecedented fourteen years in office, bringing the left to power and demonstrating that it was a credible governing coalition over some ten years. When he died in 1998, Mitterrand left an enduring political legacy not only on the French domestic scene, but also in European and foreign affairs.
In this pre-eminently accessible political biography, David Bell, offers a fascinating 'behind-the-scenes' analysis of the politics of Francois Mitterrand. Bringing together a wealth of material, Bell explores Mitterrand's political leadership and the techniques he used in attaining and wielding political power. Mitterrand's unusual journey from right to left, from the Third to the Fifth Republic is a story of ambition, manipulation and ideological fluidity, which provides a lens through which the entire political history of post-war France may be viewed.
This engaging assessment of one man's contribution to an era of French and European politics will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary political leadership, French politics, history and European affairs.
David S. Bell is the Professor of French Government and Politics at the University of Leeds.
Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction Chapter 1 1916-1944 Chapter 2 The Fourth Republic Chapter 3 De Gaulle's Republic Chapter 4 The Common Programme Chapter 5 Alliance Problems 1978-81 Chapter 6 The First Socialist Government Chapter 7 `Cohabitation' 1986-1988 Chapter 8 Second Term 1988-92 Chapter 9 The Last Years 1991-1996 Conclusion Bibliography