Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Bruno, Chief of Police

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Bruno, Chief of Police

by Martin Walker

Bruno, Chief of Police
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2010, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Beyond the Book

The Two Faces of France During WWII
What happens when part of a country's population embraces the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity while the rest abandon those principles in favor of work, family, fatherland, and a heavy dose of anti-Semitism? Moreover, what if that ideological split divides not only the country's people, but its leadership as well? If that country is France during World War II, facing off against a German fighting machine that some perceived as undefeatable, the answer is simple: the country is rent in two.

As soon as Germany stormed into Paris in June 1940 the French people were forced to choose one side or the other. Either agree with Prime Minister Paul Reynaud and General Charles de Gaulle and oppose Hitler, or side with vice-premier Henri-Philippe Petain who favored negotiating an armistice with Germany. Petain carried the day, replacing Reynaud as prime minister and establishing a puppet administration in the city of Vichy. France's dual ...

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