Magazine
Latest Issue

Lost in his own diversions

A new biography of François Mitterrand shows how a man from a right-wing bourgeois background became the saviour of the French left

Mitterrand: A Study in Ambiguity by Philip Short (Bodley Head, £30) 

In his magisterial history of the French left, the journalist Jacques Julliard tells an amusing story about a meeting that he arranged, some time in the early 1970s, between François Mitterrand, then First Secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), and Günter Grass, who’d been an advisor to the German Chancellor, Willy Brandt. Grass was expatiating on the need for a “return to Bernstein,” which puzzled Mitterrand. He wondered why the German novelist should be taking such an interest in Henri Bernstein, a popular French playwright of the interwar years…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect