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Two-time president of France, mayor of Paris, and international politician, Jacques Chirac stands with Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, and Margaret Thatcher as one of the most iconic statesmen of the twentieth century. In this revealing and informative memoir, he looks back at his 50 years in politics and some of the twentieth century’s most significant events. He discusses his relationship with Saddam Hussein and other Arab leaders, including serving as confidante to Yasser Arafat during the Camp David peace talks, as well as being France’s point person in the early planning stages for the European Economic Union. And Chirac takes us through the toughest challenge that he faced as president—standing up to George W Bush in the run up to the Iraq War and then deciding to keep France’s army out of the military conflict. As much a tour of the historic events that defined the twentieth century as an intelligent and philosophical meditation on the nature and purpose of power, Jacques Chirac gives us a revealing look at the political forces that shaped the world we live in today—as well as an inside look at a country that holds a perennial fascination for us.
"Jacques Chirac is so alive in these memoirs—whether it's recounting meetings with the great figures of his time or sitting around a dinner table in conversation or fighting it out in the epic political battles of his career. This is a self portrait of a humanist concerned above all with justice, fighting extremism from any political quarter. In page after page, he offers a lucid view on life's big issues."—Les Echos
Jacques Chirac is a lifelong French politician and one of the most charismatic figures of twentieth century politics. He was president of France from 1995 to 2007. He also served as Prime Minister of France twice in the 1970s and 1980s, and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. He is best known for being one of the most prominent international opponents of the Bush administration's intention to go to war in Iraq. He also worked to abate nuclear armament, banning the further continuation of nuclear tests in France.