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Book Review: ‘My Life in Politics’ by Jacques Chirac

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My Life in Politics by Jacques Chirac is a political memoir detailing the French politicians rise to power and fame as well as his diverse career in government. During his tenure Mr. Chirac met many influential world leaders and his insights are enlightening and appealing.

Book Review My Life in Politics by Jacques ChiracThis book provides a basic understanding of French government and politics. The book starts with Mr. Chirac’s account of what led him to public service and how he sought the highest office in France.

I found this book to be insightful and enjoyable; the translation manages to bring forth Chirac’s personality and enthusiasm for the country he loves. I did get the feeling that Chirac does drink some of his own Kool-Aid, but I guess for someone with such a huge ego (after all, who goes to national elected offices?) it is not a surprise.

The most disturbing aspect of the book was Chirac’s tendency to jump from subject to subject and talk about different times all within the same chapter. The author assumes (not unreasonably I might add) that the reader knows a bit about history, background and personalities of the events he talks about. While that might be true of a French reader, I found myself a bit lost a points – this is where notes by the translator might have been useful.

Chirac also leaves out a lot of the bad decisions and scandals, as if they were par-for-the-course in French political life. Heck, even Schwarzenegger in his new biography. Total Recall, acknowledged some of his less than wholesome aspects of his career.

The book is a thought provoking and an interesting look at politics and how the French government operates. The most fascinating aspect is the interaction of world leaders to solve global issues which concern us all.

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230340881

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