FOR 30 years, his destiny and that of France had been inseparably intertwined. For over a decade, he had presided over France in as rare an identification of ruler and ruled as modern history shows. In many ways he was an anachronism. He dealt in abstract verities more than in practical politics. He bullied in an age of persuasion; he dictated in an era of dialogue. But through it all there was always some curious alchemy between Charles de Gaulle and the people of France when it came down to the irrevocable out or non. It seemed inconceivable, even as the...

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