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Tag Archives: Charles de Gaulle

“The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas”

Share the post "“The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas”" Robert Zaretsky, The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021) Simone Weil is considered today among the foremost twentieth-century French intellectuals, on par with such luminous contemporaries as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. And yet she was not widely known when she died at age 34 in 1943. Although she wrote profusely, only...

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Paradoxes of France

Share the post "Paradoxes of France" This is the first of two reviews of Emile Chabal’s brief history of France since 1940: France (Polity, 2020). Emile Chabal’s splendid new book is entitled simply France, without further qualification. What sort of book is it? A history or an interpretive essay? If a history, what period does it cover? The unadorned title offers no clue. If an interpretive essay, does it purport to present, as General de Gaulle famously did in his...

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Thoughts on the Fifth Republic’s Sixtieth

Share the post "Thoughts on the Fifth Republic’s Sixtieth" To mark the sixtieth birthday of France’s Fifth Republic last week (4 Sept.), I went and flipped through a chapter I had been meaning to come back to in Raymond Aron’s Démocratie et totalitarisme on the political crisis that led to De Gaulle’s return to power. The book was published in 1965 based on lectures given in the midst of that crisis seven years prior, and its overall aim is to sketch out the two types...

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