France: Monsieur No

President Charles de Gaulle's press conferences take the form of a ritual ballet. The stage is the crystal-chandeliered Salle des F&234;tes in the Elysee Palace, and the corps de ballet is composed of some 700 newsmen crowded rump to rump in flimsy, gilt-painted chairs. The props are TV cameras, lights, a desk placed before a raspberry-red curtain. Enter le grand Charles, moving his head ponderously as he peers through the haze of TV flares and flash bulbs. With a wave of the hand and a clearing of the throat, De Gaulle makes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!