To Our Readers, Dec. 11, 1995

THE INTERVIEW WITH FRENCH President Jacques Chirac in this week's issue is something of a coup for TIME, and also something of a natural. Conducted in French at the Elysee Palace with Paris bureau chief Thomas Sancton and TIME Europe editor Chris Redman, it is the first that Chirac has granted to a foreign publication since his election last May. But as Sancton has discovered since he began following Chirac as a candidate last year, the American journalist and the French politician have more in common than meets the eye.

Sancton's great-grandfather emigrated in the 1860s from Bordeaux to New Orleans,...

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