Remembrance of Things Past

A new book documents what was once rumor: Mitterrand's work with fascists and the Vichy regime

In the late, bittersweet autumn of a career that has spanned nearly half a century, French President Francois Mitterrand, 77, faces a wintry political future. Constitutionally barred from running for re-election, with his Socialist Party in disarray and repudiated at the polls, he must vacate the Elysee Palace, after 14 years in office, when his current seven-year term expires in May 1995. But Mitterrand seems determined to leave power with his reputation intact and with his massive place in postwar French -- and European -- history clearly established.

Just how firm that resolve is received startling corroboration in Paris last week...

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