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Testimony: The English Version of the Bestselling Temoignage Hardcover – 19 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harriman House Publishing (19 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905641141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905641147
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,662,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Nicolas Sarkozy is France's Minister of the Interior and the head of the French conservative party. He is one of the leading candidates for the 2007 French presidential elections.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. M. White-Andrews on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
While Nicholas Sarkozy's book outwardly appears to be a book simply regarding his views on France, the internal content is far more interesting. Many texts on the subject of politics are volumes of self-indulgent personal aggrandisement with very little useful information on the subject and line after line of smug pronouncements which are designed to promote the author rather than any kind of ideal. Sarkozy's book is the antithesis of this. His book is the epitomy of brilliance, combining an inspirational message on a personal level with political policies which actually make sense. This refreshing breath of fresh air revived my belief that some people can make a difference. Read this novel and you will not be disappointed.
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By Victoria Petitjean on 25 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Product arrived on time (even before the deadline) and in excellent conditions, as stated in the sale advert.
Many thanks!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
An extraordinary guidebook 13 Jun. 2007
By Newt Gingrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy has written an extraordinary guidebook that applies just as well to America's challenges as those of France. Every presidential candidate in both parties should read it.

Sarkozy's opponent, Segolene Royale, should have won the French Presidential election and become the first woman President of France. After all, the center-right had held the French Presidency for 12 years. The incumbent President was tired and unpopular. In a normal year the outcome would have been obvious. The opposition left should have won.

Two things stopped the left: an idea and a man.

The man: Nicolas Sarkozy. The idea: France needed profound fundamental change and the left was the party of reactionary defense of a failing old order.

The scale of the French challenge is stated bluntly by the then candidate and now President of France: "I am convinced that the French now want their leaders quickly to undertake reforms that will make it possible to encourage work, improve education, make government more effective, better integrate minorities and restore France's full global role."

Using a web-based campaign to avoid the filter of the French media, Sarkozy hammered away for three years on the need for change. He distinguished himself from President Chirac and in the end it was Sarkozy who stood for a new future while the socialist Royale was defending the reactionary past.

Ironically, Sarkozy has more faith in American reform and renewal than do American politicians and commentators. He asserts: "Beyond all these characteristics of American society, what I admire most is its capacity to recognize its own weakness and to start correcting them right away. America's strength is that it was able, in each case, to identify its own weaknesses, and decide together as a society to remedy them, and then to take action without useless nostalgia about the past."

Every Presidential candidate should read Testimony to have a better understanding of the scale of leadership that is possible.

And every American citizen should read Testimony to have an understanding of what they should demand from the candidates in 2008 and expect from them in 2009.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A pro-American French President?! A fascinating read 2 May 2007
By Gaetan Lion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate to come across this book just before Nicolas Sarkozy was to be elected the next French president. Both Intrade and NewsFutures (prediction markets) were assigning a probability over 80% that Sarkozy would win. When both these different prediction markets agree on such a high probability; you can truly deem it a sure thing.

Nicolas Sarkozy is a unique French politician as he is the first pro-American one ever. Also, he is most critical of France on most counts. And, he views himself as a positive agent of change that will change France's course. This renders this book unique in the history of French politics. Such an unabashed pro-American tack has never been undertaken by any other French politician.

In foreign policy, he observes that France main identity is one of anti-Americanism at every turn to present a counter force to American hegemony. He does not see this position as serving France's own interest over the long term. This antagonism for one thing has rendered the UN Security Council completely dysfunctional. It has also impaired many other supranational institutions such as NATO. Thus, his book is part of his political effort to reduce the political distance between the two countries. If the future French President can be pro-American at a time when our current administration is most unpopular both domestically and overseas since Nixon's, it bodes extremely well for the prospect of Franco-American relations.

Culturally, he feels France has been too obsessed about protecting its own language. Instead, he feels it is critical for the French to all become more fluent in English so as to more readily adopt technologies associated with this language. He recognizes that English (and not French) has become the de facto Esperanto of commerce, technology, and science. And, he feels French citizen should take this opportunity to participate in all the mentioned domains more actively by accepting this fact instead of becoming more isolated from the rest of the World.

Sarkozy considers France to be in a fiscal mess. France flavor of socialism (very high tax rates, even higher social entitlements and government expenditures resulting in large chronic deficits) is not sustainable. Mixed with a rapidly aging society, France has a fiscal social entitlement problem that makes the U.S. counterparts (Social Security, Medicare) look like a fiscal walk on the beach. Indeed, social entitlements grab a significantly larger portion of tax revenues and GDP in France than they do in the U.S. As a result, Sarkozy feels that France economic climate has really hurt business, and more specifically job creation. He has a point. Job creation has been very weak for decades. Similarly, the unemployment rate has remained stuck between 8.5% and 12% for decades. In France, you have more economic incentives (overly generous unemployment compensation) to remain unemployed vs working. Businesses have very strong incentives not to hire people (nearly impossible to let go of employees). Sarkozy wants to change all that by reducing tax rates, reducing unemployment benefits, and reducing labor law restrictions such as the 35 hour work week limit (the lowest on the planet).

Sarkozy's ambition and political vision remind one of Margaret Thatcher in the eighties. Will he be as successful as she was? Can the French truly be steered in a pro-American, pro-business, anti-socialist fashion? Sarkozy's political challenges are immense because the French are so much more entrenched in their views than the Brits were at the time. Although Thatcher's political steering was remarkable it was not impossible.

Is Sarkozy setting himself up for an impossible mission guaranteeing his failure? There is a good possibility of that. But, there is no question that he really gets what the 21st century challenges are. He is ready to tackle those head on. Whether the French are ready remains to be seen.

He has written a unique, courageous, and iconoclastic book. He now has his manifesto in hand. His implementation will tell whether history remembers him as France's turning point or forgets him as just another failed French politician.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The French elected this man? 15 Oct. 2007
By A. Richert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Is this the France I thought I knew? After reading Sarkozy's book I have to believe that the French do want to change the direction of their country and perhaps their continent. Knowing it was published in France before his election to the Presidency, I don't know what other conclusion to assume. While I by no means agree with everything he writes below are a few excerpts that I don't think you would have gotten from a traditional French politician.

- The State can't do for you what you're not willing to do for yourself. Pg. 136
- France must again become the homeland for work, merit, responsibility, and fraternity. It must be the country where social advancement is possible, encouraged and desired by all. Page 74

Sarkozy's willingness to admit to certain problems in France and then suggest practical fixes is refreshing. While not at the level of detail as Newt Gingrich's book "Winning the Future" it is similar in that it highlights problems and presents solutions regarding his particular country's state. While some of his solutions don't have a lot of concrete substance around them, I don't necessarily think that was the point of this particular book.

I encountered many issues that parallel our issues in the U.S., such as education, a cradle to grave benefit society and health care to name a few. I find it fascinating that the U.S. is running towards enacting many of the social dependency programs that France and the rest of Europe are starting to run away from because of the inability to afford them and the inferior programs that governments minister.

I think "Testimony" is a worthy book to read to get a glimpse of what the leader of an important European country is thinking. It will be interesting to watch how his administration progresses.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Light, But Insightful 17 May 2007
By Matt A. Mayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With the rise of Nicolas Sarkozy to the French Presidency, this book is a window into his agenda, background, and style. It allows readers to judge the man as he covers much of his public career and many of the events that have been obstacles to his rise. Of particular note are the discussions about his relationship with former President Jacque Chirac and his response in October-November 2005 to the riots in Paris. All that being said, the book was written as a campaign tract, so it is somewhat light on specifics. A reccommended read for any foreign policy wonk.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A brief glimpse into a President's mind 26 Aug. 2007
By J. A. Crill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The first thing to remember whilst reading this book is that it is a translation from the French `Temoignage' which was written for a French audience and not a book specifically written for English speaking foreigners. This means that there are many references to people and situations which require knowledge of France and French politics.
However, bearing this in mind and with access to Google nearby, one can get over this minor inconvenience.

`Testimony' is an extremely rich insight into M Sarkozy's mind and he shows a devotion to, and tenacity for, change that France desperately needs. I was in France at the time of his election to President and collected a copy of his manifesto - it is essentially a précis of the book. If he can enact even a small percentage of what he hopes to do, France will become a major player again on the world scene.

He rightly trashes the Socialist Party's nitwit ideas on the 35 hour week, sky-high minimum wages and the like - those that made the rest of the world laugh but at the same time he advocates an inclusive society where all members of parliament, whatever their political colour, are brought into the decision making process.

Almost everything in the world of politics is discussed in his book together with his ideas on their reform - internal affairs, foreign affairs, social security, pensions, tax, state employees, justice - the list is exhaustive. He touches on his private life, his religious views, immigration (he's the son of a Hungarian immigrant) and emigration of the young to the UK. London, he informs us, is the seventh biggest French city.

It is difficult for a Frenchman to argue for his language. He has a go, but not very conclusively. But he does have the good grace to admit that English has become the de facto world language and that rather than taking umbrage at this, one might as well accept it and get on with life.

All this sounds like a man with a great future. It is difficult to read this exciting book and not end up agreeing with everything he says. If he does what he says he wants to do in the book, the future looks bleak for the French Socialist Party and even more so for the Trotsky and other irrelevancies of the left.
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