The World: Political Poker Is His Game

Jacques Chirac is in a hurry. He always has been. Of all the mannerisms that reveal him, perhaps none is more telling to a Frenchman's taste than the way he eats: furiously and fast, raising only the question of how much he savors as he dines.

Chirac has chewed his way through France's political structure at a frenzied pace. At 30, after graduation from France's elite civil service academy, L'Ecole Nationale d'Administration, he won a position on the staff of Georges Pompidou, then Charles de Gaulle's Premier. In the next decade he held five ministerial posts, and at 41 became the youngest...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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