‘A comprehensive narrative in which fact and anecdote...are combined to produce a very detailed but readable story.’ – Sunday Times
To an extent which nobody but the man himself could have believed possible, General de Gaulle imposed his vision upon a country - and even perhaps upon a continent.
Again and again, standing virtually alone, he changed the course of history. One may admire his grandeur, his courage, his tenacity; one may detest his arrogance, his conceit, his wilful blindness. But one can never ignore him.
By the time Aidan Crawley published this classic biography of his subject, De Gaulle had been a legend for almost thirty years, and around him there had accumulated a literature of staggering size.
A few of the books were intelligent and informative; the rest were either gossip, vituperative criticism or blatant propaganda. Almost all reflected some private point of view and illuminated only a small corner of their great subject. A major biography covering his whole career and written without prejudice and preconception was curiously lacking before Crawley’s opus.
A former politician and minister, a Francophile, a convinced though temperate European, a journalist and author of distinction, he was well qualified to understand, to assess and, where necessary, to judge, every aspect of de Gaulle’s monumental career.
Scrupulous research, lucidity of style and a sense of history combine to provide a biography worthy of its subject, Charles de Gaulle.
Praise for Aiden Crawley:
‘This first biography of Après-Gaullisme will be hard to supersede. It is the fullest account yet given of the unstoppable ambition that shattered Allied tempers, rescued France from civil war and the OAS, and then proceeded to carve a blurred, provocative, perhaps pathetic message so deeply into international diplomacy, that it will be a long time before it is rubbed out.’ – Daily Mail
‘De Gaulle has always seemed to me far and away the most interesting of the men of action of our time. Much has, of course, been written on and about [him]. Crawley’s biography is a valuable addition to this extensive literature. It is not marred by either excessive adulation or excessive denigration...Crawley’s narrative stands up well to examination.’ – Malcolm Muggeridge, Observer
‘Mr. Crawley’s elegantly written De Gaulle...brings up to date the familiar story with excellent pieces on France and de Gaulle since the great student revolt of one year ago.’ – Sunday Telegraph
‘A most interesting and attractive book to read. It will be read by many, even one suspects, devoured, and there will be lots of people who will say that they couldn’t put it down...Mr. Crawley has narrated and he has done so skilfully and vigorously.’ – Professor Douglas Johnson, Birmingham Post
Aidan Crawley (1908-1993) was an MP and writer who also produced TV at the very start of the commercial TV era of the 1950s. He wrote a biography of Charles de Gaulle and a history of West Germany after World War II. During the war he had been a prisoner after being shot down while serving in the RAF.