Highlights of the month
The historian Michel Winock is the author of this biography of the socialist president, François Mitterand. A disconcerting and secretive man known as the “Prince of Ambiguity,” he is certainly one of those 20th century’s politicians who had the greatest impact on the political life of the 5th Republic. Well-versed in literature and history, a subtle strategist, combative and persevering, François Mitterand knew how to attract as much support as he did resentment. If he failed to realize socialist aspirations, he nevertheless succeeded in establishing a pattern of alternating governance and opened the horizon to the construction of a unified Europe. A figure not easily captured, in François Mitterand the private and public were often intermingled. In reflecting on both these images, Michel Winock seeks to explore the journey and the profile of this complex and puzzling personality.