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Nicolas Sarkozy

Once Chirac's protégé, he is now his bitter rival. But could this wily, dynamic upstart who admires America, Tony Blair and successful businesses ever win the French presidency?

By Tim King   July 2004

Paris “liberated by her own people with the help of the armies of France, with the help of the whole of France, that is to say fighting France, true France, eternal France.” General De Gaulle’s mythic rhetoric, declaimed from the Paris town hall in August 1944 as the liberation of France painfully unfolded, was never intended to be historically accurate. Its aim was to re-establish an idea of France’s greatness. That vision has dominated French political thinking for the past 60 years. But it may be that this ethereal idea of l’exception française is about to make way for something…

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