FRANCE: I Give You My Word

If there is anything not quite French about General Charles de Gaulle, it is his impatience with paper work. Rather than rely on secondhand reports, he prefers to find things out for himself. Last week, for the second time in a month, he boarded a twin-jet Caravelle and streaked towards Algeria to investigate in person. It was a salesman's visit, and the primary product to be sold—both to a grumbling army and a restless population—was the personality of the general himself.

Wearing a light suntan uniform with only the Cross of Lorraine as...

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