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Get A Certain Idea of France PDF

By Phillip H. Gordon

ISBN-10: 0691086478

ISBN-13: 9780691086477

ISBN-10: 1400811805

ISBN-13: 9781400811809

As France starts off to confront the recent demanding situations of the post-Cold warfare period, the time has come to ascertain how French defense coverage has advanced due to the fact that Charles de Gaulle set it on an self reliant direction within the Sixties. Philip Gordon exhibits that the Gaullist version, opposite to greatly held ideals, has lived on--but that its inherent inconsistencies have grown extra acute with expanding ecu unification, the diminishing American army position in Europe, and similar traces on French army budgets. The query this present day is whether or not the Gaullist legacy will permit a powerful and assured France to play a whole position in Europe's new safety preparations or no matter if France, as a result of its will to independence, is destined to play an remoted, nationwide position. Gordon analyzes army doctrines, suggestions, and budgets from the Sixties to the Nineties, and in addition the evolution of French coverage from the early debates approximately NATO and the eu group to the Persian Gulf battle. He finds how and why Gaullist rules have for therefore lengthy stimulated French defense coverage and examines attainable new instructions for France in an more and more united yet most likely volatile Europe.

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INDEPENDENCE AND GRANDEUR AS GOALS AND MEANS Not even a brief discussion of Gaullist perspectives would be complete without considering the twin concepts of independence and grandeur, for these two notions were at the heart of Charles de Gaulle’s international policies and have left a highly influential legacy in France. Especially in the area of national security, no politician in France has been able to neglect the theme of French independence, and attempts even to put the notion into perspective have brought immediate and consequential public and political reaction.

It was neither the force de frappe nor Gaullist hostility toward NATO that prevented a leading French role in European security; both followed rather than caused what must be considered a lasting reality of the postwar period—the absence of a French military “pillar” in Europe. The origins of this missing pillar are worth exploring. I argue in this book that the gap between France’s nationally oriented policies and the requirements of European defense narrowed significantly over the 1970s and 1980s.

To attribute to Charles de Gaulle a strategy of cold rationality where France was concerned, however, would be to misread a fundamental element in his view of the world. His political arguments for the necessity of PERSPECTIVES ON DE GAULLE 15 French grandeur were usually coherent and often persuasive. They have given subsequent French leaders—men who did not share de Gaulle’s view of society and of the world—ample reasons to accept the policies Gaullist ideas implied. And they have, arguably, helped unite the independent-minded and usually contentious French around a set of national goals to which the majority of them still aspire.

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A Certain Idea of France by Phillip H. Gordon


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