The Revolt of the French Masses

The Smoldering Fires of Immigration

Charles de Gaulle, on the subject of Algeria: "Pinay, the facts may prove me wrong, but History will prove me right." Finance Minister Anoine Pinay: "But, Monsieur le Président, I thought History was written with facts."

Since for the vast majority of human beings historic myth, as André Malraux believed, is infinitely more appealing than historical fact, it may be years before most French men and women realize the full extent of the social havoc that was wreaked upon their hapless and in places increasingly unlovely country during the 14-year-long reign of François Mitterrand.This is not to suggest that the Eager Beavers of French journalism have not been working overtime to undermine the frail pedestal before the statue of "imperishable" greatness is hoisted into position and assumes an air of marmoreal eternity—as happened with Charles de Gaulle, who was in certain respects very much a giant with feet of clay. So far the most assiduous and (in terms of book sales) the most "popular" of these journalistic rodents has been Jean Montaldo, who latest exposé of Elyée-Palace skullduggery—provocatively entitled Mitterrand et les quarantine voleurs (Mitterrand and the Forty Thieves)—headed the nonfiction best-seller list for the better part of a year. But whether this kind of raking through the slush of slick financial deals (for the benefit...

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