World: France: Twilight of Grandeur

Just by existing he will play a political role. He can't help it. He is in the woodwork and everybody knows it.

WITH those words, Andre Malraux last November expressed a widely held belief about his old chief. Many Frenchmen felt that even after Charles de Gaulle had abandoned the Presidency of the Fifth Republic, he nonetheless would continue to exercise a profound influence on the country's politics.

But last week the first anniversary of De Gaulle's abrupt resignation passed almost without notice in France. He stepped down from the presidency on April 28,...

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