Who said: "In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant" - Charles de Gaulle

French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle, was born in Lille in 1890, the son of a headmaster. He graduated from the Military Academy St. Cyr in 1912, thirteenth in his class, and served in the infantry through World War I. During the interwar period he became a vocal proponent of mobile armored devisions which he saw as critical to modern warfare. Having angered his superiors with his outspoken views, he was only a colonel at the outbreak of World War II but quickly rose to Brigadier General and, in 1940, led one of the few successful counter-attacks during the Battle for France.

In June 1950, the French Prime Minister appointed him Under Secretary of State for National Defence and War, and put him in charge of coordination with the UK. When France fell he escaped to Britain and gave, via the BBC, his now famous radio broadcast exhorting the French to resist the German invasion. In August 1940 he was court-martialled in absentia by the Vichy regime (the puppet regime that controlled most of France during the German occupation) and condemned to death for treason.

With support from the British government, de Gaulle and his family settled in England, from where he organized and led the Free French Forces, until 1943 when he moved his headquarters to Algiers. By the time France was liberated in 1944, de Gaulle was head of the government in exile and in effective control of all French colonies except Indochina (broadly speaking: Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam).

After a brief time as Prime Minister of the French Provisional Government after the war, he resigned and formed his own political party, the Rally of the French People (RPF). The RPF failed to win power and he dropped out of politics altogether in 1953.

That was until 1958, when the government that had been formed after World War II, known as the Fourth Republic, collapsed (after 20 prime ministers in 11 years) leaving the country in crisis. De Gaulle was voted in as Prime Minister and promptly led the writing of a new constitution to found the Fifth Republic, which replaced the former parlimentary goverment with a semi-presidential system in which both a president and prime minister are involved in daily political activity (which remains France's form of government). De Gaulle became the new Republic's first President, a position he held until he resigned in 1969.

The 6' 5" President was always careful with money, taking great care to separate his private expenses from official funds while in office. On his retirement he refused the substantial pensions available to him as both a retired general and president, and instead took the pension of a colonel.

He died suddenly a little over a year after leaving office, two weeks short of his 80th birthday. At his request, he was buried quietly without any presidents, ministers or heads of state in attendance; and his tombstone bears the simple inscription Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970. He was survived by his wife of 49 years, and two of their three children.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: With the Fire on High
    With the Fire on High
    by Elizabeth Acevedo
    From Like Water for Chocolate to Ratatouille, writers have recognized the power ...
  • Book Jacket: Lanny
    Lanny
    by Max Porter
    At once beautifully poignant and hauntingly grotesque, Max Porter's Lanny is like an unexpected ...
  • Book Jacket
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Collection
    The Last Collection
    by Jeanne Mackin
    What it's about:
    The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin follows the lives of two internationally ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.