H-Diplo Roundtable on "General de Gaulle’s Cold War: Challenging American Hegemony 1963-1968"

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H-Diplo Roundtable Review
Volume XV, No. 42 (2014)
21 July 2014

Roundtable Editors:  Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
Roundtable and Web Production Editor:  George Fujii
Commissioned for H-Diplo by Thomas Maddux

Introduction by Frédéric Bozo

Garret Joseph Martin.  General de Gaulle’s Cold War:  Challenging American Hegemony 1963-1968New York:  Berghahn Books, 2013.  ISBN:  978-1-78238-015-3 (hardback, $95.00/£60.00).

Stable URL:  http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XV-42.pdf


Introduction by Frédéric Bozo, Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III) 2

Review by Carine Germond, University of Portsmouth/Maastricht University. 6

Review by William R. Keylor, Boston University. 10

Compte-rendu par Maurice Vaisse, Professeur émérite, Sciences Po, Paris. 14

Review by Maurice Vaisse, Professor Emeritus, Sciences Po, Paris. 17

Translated by Diane Labrosse, H-Diplo managing editor. 17

Author’s Response by Garret Martin, American University, School of International Service. 20

© 2014 H-Net:  Humanities and Social Sciences Online

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Introduction by Frédéric Bozo, Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III)

Ever since he entered history with his 18 June 1940 appeal, General Charles de Gaulle has been an object of revulsion or attraction, but almost always of fascination for the ‘Anglo-Saxons.’ His Homeric quarrels with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt did a lot to entrench durably negative dispositions among the U.S. and British leaders, but to them de Gaulle had been little more than a nuisance during the war years. Although he had successfully led France from defeat and occupation to victory and resurrection in less than five years, he had essentially presided over a crippled country fighting for its own rank. Yet when he came back to power in June 1958 and founded the Fifth Republic, which he presided over until his resignation in April 1969, de Gaulle became a challenge for the ‘Anglo-Saxons.’ Indeed, while the quest for ‘rank’ remained de Gaulle’s fixation, it quickly became clear that his goals now went far beyond the restoration of France as a great power: the General pursued a ‘revisionist’ design that aimed at no less than overcoming the Cold War status quo and included a frontal challenge to America’s hegemony in the West. Hence the Anglo-Saxon fascination for de Gaulle became an obsession throughout the 1960s, leading prominent academics such as Raymond Aron, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, and Stanley Hoffmann to spend much time developing a new discipline of sorts for the American public: ‘Gaullology.’

Ever since the 1960s, the fascination has not abated. In the introduction to his General de Gaulle’s Cold War, Garret Martin evokes a literature (of memoirs, biographies, and scholarly works) in excess of three thousand works, a figure that probably represents a conservative estimate. Although works in French no doubt constitute the bulk of the literature, the amount written in English is considerable. The book by Martin (himself an Irishman who has lived in France) therefore represents an addition to an already very long list of scholarly works by ‘Anglo-Saxons’ aimed at deciphering de Gaulle and, especially, his foreign policy.

The book, which includes 198 pages of text, 8 pages of annexes with charts, 44 pages of endnotes and 15 pages of bibliography and sources, is derived from Martin’s dissertation. All three reviewers praise the book for its academic quality. Carine Germond finds Martin’s work to be “well researched” and describes it as “an insightful, archive based analysis of de Gaulle’s foreign policy” of the period; she deems it “a valuable contribution to the research literature” as well as “a comprehensive and empirically grounded assessment of de Gaulle’s foreign policy successes and failures.” William R. Keylor finds the work to be an “exhaustively researched, lucidly written study” that “convincingly” demonstrates its points. Finally, Maurice Vaïsse, the author of the standard work on the diplomacy of President de Gaulle from 1958 to 1969,[1] lauds Martin’s “thorough documentary research” and his “analytical skills,” mentioning his “correct and intelligent evaluation of de Gaulle’s Cold War concept and expressing a “favorable impression” of the book.

The reviewers praise Martin’s methodology. Germond highlights the book’s reliance on “solid and extensive multi-archival research conducted in state archives in France, the United States, and Great Britain,” as has now become the “trademark” of recent scholarship in European and international history. Germond only regrets the absence of West German archives given the key role of the Federal Republic of Germany, while acknowledging that the book’s focus on the “Anglo-Saxons” attenuates this criticism. Vaïsse remarks that Martin “has obviously worked in the collections of many French and foreign archives, and has read and assimilated the perspectives of the pertinent secondary work,” which, he says, “he employs with talent.”

Martin’s main thesis, i.e. that de Gaulle possessed a ‘grand design’ and a ‘coherent vision’ of where he wanted to take France and the international system, is shared by the reviewers. Germond agrees with Martin and other authors that “de Gaulle had a foreign policy vision shaped by his understanding of history and geopolitical considerations,” while recalling that other considerations such as economic interests were also important factors. Keylor concurs that de Gaulle’s objectives went beyond the restoration of France’s grandeur and that the General had a blueprint in order “to bring about a spectacular realignment of the balance of forces in Europe.” As for Vaïsse, he agrees with Martin that de Gaulle “thought, in effect, that the Cold War was a transitory phenomenon and that it was necessary to move on from this state.” I also share this view, which in many ways has become consensual among historians.[2]

The reviewers also praise Martin for his balanced judgment of de Gaulle’s achievements and their limits. Germond agrees that the General’s grand design was “imperfect,” and observes that each of the two extreme dates of Martin’s study, 1963 and 1968, point to the relative failure of de Gaulle’s ambitions, the former because the January 22, 1963 Franco-German treaty remained a dead letter for a long period, and the latter because the August 1968 Warsaw-Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia highlighted the limits of his aspiration to move “beyond Yalta.” Keylor agrees that de Gaulle’s grand design had built-in contradictions that limited its effectiveness, not least the fact that the General’s challenge to U.S. hegemony, although it was based on the denunciation of America’s unreliability as Europe’s protector, was also made possible by the certainty that the United States and its allies would no doubt respond to any Soviet attack against West Germany, thereby ultimately ensuring France’s security. Vaïsse also lauds Martin for being “capable of taking a negative view of Gaullist France” while also “avoiding a systematic critique of Gaullist policy.” He nevertheless teases Martin for having perhaps “deliberately” chosen the above chronological boundaries as if “to prove a pre-held assumption,” i.e. that de Gaulle “lost his wager, since 1968 sounded the death-knell to his attempts to challenge both the Cold War system and American hegemony.”

Vaïsse also takes issue with some of the author’s assertions, in particular with regard to the old suspicion, which Martin at times echoes, of the existence of pro-Soviet tendencies at the Elysée under de Gaulle. Correctly in my view, Vaïsse dismisses the interpretation conveyed in Thierry Wolton’s book, La France sous influence,[3] according to which the General’s foreign policy was pro-Soviet, as a fanciful reconstruction, and he reproaches Martin for having relied on the book in some instances, e.g. when he hints that de Gaulle’s speech in Bucharest in May 1968 was changed at the demand of Rumania’s communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu in order to placate Moscow. “Frankly, this cannot be serious,” writes Vaïsse, asking: “Are we to imagine that de Gaulle actually agreed to modify his speech?”

Altogether, the reviewers have a balanced judgment of the added value of Martin’s book in relation to the existing literature. Germond believes it is a welcome addition to the literature because it has an international and global dimension rather than a narrowly European one and because the book incorporates the “manifold aspects” of de Gaulle’s strategy, but she somewhat regrets the relative marginalization of the domestic, non-state actors in the analysis, which is organized around the concept of a Primat der Aussenpolitik. Vaïsse is somewhat less positive on the novelty of the book: although he sees Martin’s work as “a welcome book for an English[-speaking] audience thanks to its more balanced approach to the subject,” he believes that the book, which in his view is “clearly circumscribed in its ambition, leaving aside many aspects” of de Gaulle’s foreign policy, “does not add anything that is totally new.”


Garret J. Martin is a Term Faculty at the School of International Service at American University, and an editor at Large at the European Institute, based in Washington, DC. He obtained his PhD in International History at the London School of Economics. He has written a number of journal articles and chapters on France and the Cold War, and is the author of General de Gaulle’s Cold War: Challenging American Hegemony, 1963-68 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013).

Frédéric Bozo (1963) is professor of contemporary history at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III, Institute of European Studies). His focus is on French foreign and security policy, transatlantic relations and Cold War history. His publications include: Mitterrand, the End of the Cold War, and German Unification (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009, first published in French by Odile Jacob, 2005); Two Strategies for Europe: De Gaulle, the United States and the Atlantic Alliance (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, first published in French by Plon, 1996). He has also co-edited Europe and the End of the Cold War: A Reappraisal (London: Routledge, 2008, with M.-P. Rey, N. Piers Ludlow & L. Nuti) and Visions of the End of the Cold War in Europe 1945-1990 (Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books, 2012, M.-P. Rey, N. Piers Ludlow & B. Rother). His other books (in French) include: La Politique étrangère de la France depuis 1945 (Paris : La Flammarion, 2012); and La France et l’OTAN. De la guerre froide au nouvel ordre européen (Paris : Masson, 1991). He has published articles in Cold War History, Contemporary European History, Diplomatic History, Politique étrangère, and Survival. He also has a chapter in the recently published Cambridge History of the Cold War (Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, eds). His most recent book, Histoire secrète de la crise irakienne. La France, les Etats-Unis et l’lrak, 1991-2003, was published in the fall 2013 by Fayard.

Carine Germond is the Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Portsmouth. Most recent publications related to her current research on farm interest groups and the Common Agricultural Policy include “Preventing Reform? Agricultural Interest Groups and the Common Agricultural Policy”, in Wolfram Kaiser & Jan-Henrik Meyer (Eds.), Non-State Actors in European Integration 1958-1992. From Polity-Building to Transnational Politics and Policy-Making?, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013, 106-128. She is the author of Partenaires de raison: le couple France-Allemagne et l’unification de l’Europe, 1963-1969 (Munich, 2014, forthcoming).

William R. Keylor is Professor of History and International Relations and Director of the International History Institute at Boston University.  His publications include (The Legacy of the Great War: Peacemaking, 1919   (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997); A World of Nations: The International Order since 1945 (second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) and The Twentieth-Century World and Beyond: An International History (6th edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). He has just begun a study of Charles de Gaulle’s relations with the United States.

Maurice Vaisse is Professor Emeritus in History of International relations at Sciences Po, Paris and Editor of the French Diplomatic Documents (twenty volumes published for the Sixties), Chairman of the committee of historical research in the Ministry of Defence.  His major publications include Les relations internationales depuis 1945, 13° édition (2013); La Grandeur, politique étrangère de la France, 1958/1969, Biblis, 2013; La guerre au XX° siècle, 3° édition, 2013; La puissance ou l'influence ? La France dans le monde depuis 1958, 2009.

Review by Carine Germond, University of Portsmouth/Maastricht University

Winston Churchill once quipped that diplomacy was the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions. As opposed to his British counterpart, Charles de Gaulle, the iconic wartime leader and French statesman, was not averse to “light[ing] the powder barrel”[4] with provocative speeches and press conferences[5] or dramatic actions.[6] Indeed, throughout his presidential tenure from 1958 to 1969 de Gaulle was a cantankerous partner, who openly criticized, or even directly opposed, his partners in the Atlantic Alliance and in Western Europe and challenged the Cold War order. From 1963, the geopolitical transformations of the international environment, and in particular the budding détente of East-West relations, opened up a space for General de Gaulle to contest American hegemony, question key tenets of the United States’ approach to NATO and Europe, and promote his own competing vision of transatlantic relations and of a French-led European Community.

How, why and with what success de Gaulle’s France strove to reshape international affairs are the main questions underlying Garret Martin’s re-examination of de Gaulle’s foreign policy. His General de Gaulle’s Cold War, based on a revised doctoral dissertation, is the latest addition to an already long list of scholarship focusing on de Gaulle, whose controversial, yet crucial figure remains key to understanding this important juncture in European and international history. It provides an insightful, archive-based analysis of de Gaulle’s foreign policy in the period between 1963 and 1968. With its focus on inter-state relations in the Cold War era and on prominent political leaders and diplomats as the main actors, Martin’s study falls within the ambit of traditional diplomatic history.

Martin’s central argument is that de Gaulle pursued a coherent, albeit imperfect, grand design whose primary objective was to reshape world affairs. At the heart of this design were two interrelated goals, which he sought to realize successively. The first was to re-establish France’s national grandeur and great power status. Recapturing such international stature was a prerequisite for reaching the second goal, namely to overcome the bipolar Cold War order. For those familiar with Martin’s previous publications,[7] this will not come as a complete surprise. I tend to share Martin’s and others’ view that de Gaulle had a foreign policy vision, shaped by his understanding of history and geopolitical considerations, which provides useful clues to understanding his actions when he returned to power. In my view, however, this does not preclude that practical considerations, such as economic, commercial, or other interests, were also important factors that he took into account in defining France’s foreign policy, not least because they contributed to giving France the means by which it would carve for itself a greater international role, as much as they underpinned the realization of de Gaulle’s foreign policy strategy.

In two chronologically organized sections, Martin provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of how de Gaulle sought to implement his foreign policy agenda and ultimately failed to realize it fully. He begins where Jeffrey Glenn Giauque’s and Erin Mahan’s account of transatlantic relations left off [8] and covers the eventful period of de Gaulle’s presidency between the crisis-ridden year of 1963, with the almost concomitant first veto of Britain’s first application to join the European Economic Community (EEC) and the signature of the Franco-German cooperation treaty, and the Prague Spring of 1968.

Interestingly, in their own ways these events marked the demise of de Gaulle’s foreign policy design. De Gaulle managed to delay Britain’s entry into the European Communities for nearly a decade. Nevertheless, he did so at the cost of significant tensions with his European partners and France’s growing isolation in the EEC, and he failed to prevent Britain’s eventual accession in 1973. The Elysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963, crowned the process of Franco-German reconciliation that had begun in the 1950s and laid the foundation for a privileged partnership between Paris and Bonn. Yet, it fell short of fulfilling de Gaulle’s hopes of creating a Franco-German alliance that, under French leadership, would take the lead to create an independent ‘European’ Europe that would be able to act as a third force between the two superpowers in the international arena. The refusal of Konrad Adenauer’s successors in the German Federal Chancellery to follow him on this path was the first substantial blow to de Gaulle’s diplomatic strategy. Finally, the repression of the Prague Spring in summer 1968 demonstrated blatantly that the Soviet Union was neither willing nor ready to loosen up its grip on its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, despite de Gaulle’s unremitting encouragements for the Kremlin to do so. The tanks of the Warsaw Pact rolling into Prague not only crushed the nascent Czech reform movement and sparked a new surge of East-West tensions. They also put a brutal end to de Gaulle’s ambitious – albeit in practice limited – ‘détente, entente and cooperation’ policy with the Eastern bloc, which he had hoped in the long run would create favorable conditions for lifting the Iron Curtain that divided Europe into two opposing ideological blocs.

The book’s first section chronicles de Gaulle’s strategy to reclaim France’s national grandeur and Great Power status between 1963 and 1965 and the different paths he followed to achieve this. The three chapters that make up this section analyze successively his policy vis-à-vis three different geographical spaces – the Western world, the communist world, and the Third World – and expose the linkages and entanglements between the different – political, economic, geopolitical, monetary and military – strands. Martin starts with an examination of de Gaulle’s strategy in Europe. He clearly shows that de Gaulle’s twin objective of re-asserting France’s Great Power status and promoting the emergence of a more independent and assertive (Western) Europe centered on the Franco-German alliance produced only limited results. In view of the ever-obvious shortcomings of Franco-German cooperation, de Gaulle stepped up his challenge to America’s leadership in all realms. The outcome of his challenging act was a series of crises and confrontations that rocked the European Communities and transatlantic relations. While Western Europe had been at the head of de Gaulle’s foreign policy strategy in 1963-164, his focal point gradually shifted towards Moscow. The détente of East-West relations offered new possibilities for seeking rapprochement with Moscow and achieving his central aim of overcoming the Cold War division of Europe and creating a new pan-European security order, in which a French-led Western Europe would play a key role. Turning to France’s Third World policy, a still oft-overlooked aspect,[9] Martin then underscores the mixture of rhetoric, and strategic and economic motivations that underlay it. Although Paris tried to play a more active role in the Third World, it could never quite match the Gaullist rhetoric of assistance and cooperation with its Great Power ambitions.

The second section, whose four chapters are chronologically structured, assesses de Gaulle’s bold and ambitious attempts to overcome the Cold War status quo in Europe during his second presidential mandate. As Martin rightly points out, 1966 certainly marked the heyday of de Gaulle’s foreign policy, with several major diplomatic initiatives. No longer integrated in NATO, France had recovered its full sovereignty and was therefore in a privileged position to play an active role in fostering détente and rapprochement with Moscow and its satellites. Additionally, de Gaulle’s sharp criticism of American policy, notably in Vietnam, had considerably enhanced France’s prestige in the Third World. Yet, converting this newly gained status into influence proved difficult, as new challenges put de Gaulle’s France to the test. Balancing independence and interdependence proved the greatest challenge of all. France’s continued opposition to Britain’s second EEC membership bid revived tensions with France’s EEC partners and undermined French attempts to preserve cohesion among the Six on international monetary and trade matters. In the East, Paris’ rapprochement policy produced (only) limited results. France faced new competition from Bonn’s Ostpolitik, and the Soviet Union maintained an obstructive attitude vis-à-vis the French and German détente efforts. The 1967 Six Day War in the Middle East, moreover, demonstrated the resilience of the superpower dominance over world affairs, while France’s prestige in the Third World was seriously dented after de Gaulle’s pro-Arab and seemingly Antisemic remarks. Indeed, the international and domestic upheavals of 1968 sanctioned rather than triggered the ultimate demise of General de Gaulle’s foreign policy agenda.

Martin’s monograph makes a valuable contribution to the research literature on two accounts. The first merit of Martin’s book is that, rather than focusing on Europe as the main locus of de Gaulle’s foreign policy, its vantage point is clearly international and encompasses other geographical areas as well. This helps to capture the global dimension of the Gaullist foreign policy strategy. By going beyond the traditional focus on French-U.S.[10] relations or France’s relations with other European countries,[11] General de Gaulle's Cold War makes a valuable contribution to the field. By incorporating the manifold facets of de Gaulle’s strategy into his analysis, Martin is also able to shed light on the complex (inter)linkages and constraints of de Gaulle’s foreign policy strategy. This is important to better comprehend the depth and breadth of the means with which de Gaulle pursued the realization of his objectives. However, the Primat der Aussenpolitik and state-centric perspective which the book adopts is both a strength and a weakness in that it privileges a specific set of decision-makers but tends to marginalize the influence of broader domestic constraints – with the notable exception of the social unrest of May 1968 and public support for de Gaulle’s policy – or other (e.g. non-governmental) actors.

General de Gaulle’s Cold War is well-researched and draws upon solid and extensive multi-archival research conducted in state archives in France, the United States, and Great Britain. Given the key role of the Federal Republic of Germany in de Gaulle’s overall foreign policy strategy, one regret is the absence of (West) German archives, although the focal point of the book on the Anglo-Saxon world, and especially on the U.S., makes this omission less problematic. Such multi-archival and multi-country research has become a trademark of recent scholarship in contemporary European and international history. Martin’s monograph plainly demonstrates the advantages and benefits of utilizing such a breadth of archival records to better comprehend the international ramifications of a state’s foreign policy and to go beyond the narrow confines of national history.

All in all, Martin’s provides a comprehensive and empirically grounded assessment of de Gaulle’s foreign policy successes and failures, embedded in an analysis of Cold War power relations. Moreover, he makes a useful contribution to refining our understanding of de Gaulle’s long-lasting legacy and of the enduring powerful fascination that he continues to exert.

Review by William R. Keylor, Boston University

The Gallic Juggler

Warren Kimball chose as the title for his landmark study of President Franklin Roosevelt’s skillful statesmanship during the Second World War The Juggler.[12]  That evocative term would have been entirely appropriate as an alternative title for Garrett Joseph Martin’s book, General de Gaulle’s Cold War: Challenging American Hegemony, 1963-1968, which examines the foreign policies of Roosevelt’s principal wartime nemesis from 1963 to 1968 as President of France.  The image of de Gaulle as juggler perfectly captures his approach to the complex set of foreign-policy challenges that are explored in this exhaustively researched, lucidly written study of the last six years of de Gaulle’s service as supreme guardian of French national interests. The French chief executive’s well-known campaign against the division of Europe into two armed camps and Washington’s hegemonic position in the Western alliance occupy much of the narrative of the book under review. But Martin treats other policy issues that were only indirectly related to the Cold War and America’s domination of the non-Communist half of the Old Continent.  As president of the new French Fifth Republic he had created, Martin’s de Gaulle deftly kept several balls in the air simultaneously as he embarked on his determined, some would say quixotic, quest to restore France to the ranks of the world’s great powers. 

Martin devotes particular attention to a topic that has received relatively short shrift in previous studies of Gaullist foreign policy. That is the General’s bid to preserve France’s privileged position in the new European Economic Community (EEC) that had come into existence exactly five months before his return to power on June 1, 1958. Martin convincingly demonstrates that, for all his lofty rhetoric about France’s destiny to regain its former position of grandeur on the world stage, de Gaulle was realistic enough to recognize that his country lacked the requisite economic resources, political influence, and military power to achieve that lofty aspiration on its own. But the combined resources of a European Economic Community under French leadership could form the nucleus of a new center of power in an evolving multipolar international order that would replace what de Gaulle regarded as the obsolete bipolar system of the Cold War. This French-led Western European bloc could then preside over the reunification of the bifurcated Continent by enticing the Soviet satellites in the east to look westward. In order to achieve that goal, of course, France would first have to induce Moscow to loosen its iron grip on its Warsaw-Pact allies. To remove the reputed rationale for Moscow’s domination of Eastern Europe, de Gaulle would first have to persuade his West European partners to repudiate American military and economic domination of the non-Communist half of the continent.  France would thereafter become the ‘privileged interlocutor’ of Russia--he never used the term Soviet Union—on the opposite end of a continent unified after so many years of partition.

In order to bring about such a spectacular realignment of the balance of forces in Europe, Martin shows, two strategies were required. The first was to forge a special bilateral relationship with West Germany—which would always have to play second fiddle to its historic enemy because France belonged to the nuclear club that the Federal Republic was prohibited from joining by the agreement in late 1954 that permitted it to rearm and join NATO. The resulting Paris-Bonn Axis, formalized in the Elysée Treaty of 22 January 1963, would supervise the affairs of Europe—with, as noted, France in the senior position--as American and Russian power receded.  The second strategy was to exclude Great Britain from the emerging European entity—as de Gaulle did twice with his vetoes in 1963 and 1967--not only for complex commercial and financial reasons that Martin probes in great detail, but also because Britain in the EEC would both challenge France’s predominant influence within the emerging European entity and afford the other Anglo-Saxon power across the Atlantic a pathway to interfere with Gaullist plans for shaping its future.

Most of the specific policies that de Gaulle launched during the period of his presidency covered by this book were related in one way of another to his legendary ‘Grand Design’ for France’s resurgence—the ‘empty chair’ crisis in the EEC that Paris launched on July 1, 1965 to extract concessions from its Common Market partners on negotiations for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); the persistent French efforts to reform the international monetary system created at Bretton Woods to terminate the dollar’s privileged status as the world’s reserve currency; the ‘shock therapy’ that de Gaulle administered to NATO from 1959 to 1966 with France’s phased withdrawal from its naval and military commands;  his energetic pursuit of a French ‘Politique de l’Est’ in 1966 to improve relations between the two sides of the Iron Curtain; and de Gaulle’s assiduous courting of allies in the Third World for his assault on the bipolar world  after divesting France of the albatross of the Algerian War and granting independence to France’s colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Martin demonstrates how each one of these and other audacious moves by de Gaulle produced unintended consequences that undermined the coherence of his Grand Design. His blows against NATO antagonized West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his successor, Ludwig Erhard, thereby preventing the Paris-Bonn Axis from amounting to much.  De Gaulle’s attempt to woo the Communist satellites in Eastern Europe caused consternation in Moscow, with anxious memories of 1956 still fresh in the minds of the Kremlin leadership.  His quest for détente with the Soviet Union initially elicited a sharp rebuke from his West German partner, still stuck in its hard-line policy toward Moscow before Chancellor Willy Brandt reversed course in de Gaulle’s last year in power.

In short, the juggler managed to keep all the balls in the air throughout most of the period covered by Martin’s study. But he was constantly obliged to lunge to catch this ball or that one before they all eventually fell to the ground in the final years of de Gaulle’s presidency.  His hopes of detaching West Germany from Washington failed, particularly after Adenauer left the scene and was succeeded by the more resolutely Atlanticist  Erhard. His goal of European détente was based on an excessively sanguine appraisal of the political situation to the east.  “The Soviet bloc is crumbling,” he remarked in early 1965. “China is separate. Romania, Poland are also detaching themselves…Eastern Europe will start moving [away from Moscow].” (64, 70). When Czechoslovakia did start to move away in 1968, the swift and successful Warsaw Pact intervention nipped in the bud precisely the type of independent posture among the Soviet satellites that de Gaulle confidently and prematurely anticipated. By the time of his resignation from the presidency in April 1969, de Gaulle’s lofty ambition for his country of becoming Moscow’s ‘privileged interlocutor’ in Western Europe was already being superseded by West Germany’s Brandt, whose Ostpolitik, (which he initiated as Foreign Finister in 1967 and then completed as Chancellor after 1969) left Gaullist France sitting on the sidelines.

Much has been written about the ‘imperial overstretch’ of the United States during the Cold War. Martin recounts a tale of overstretch by the leader of a mid-level power who sought to restore it to the top rank it had not occupied since the ignominious defeat by Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. “France’s authority is moral….Our country is different than [sic] others because of its disinterested and universal vocation,” de Gaulle remarked to his confident Alain Peyrefitte. “France is the light of the world, its genius is to enlighten the universe” (193). Such a grandiose vision of his country’s special place among the nations of the world sounds much like the frequent invocations of American exceptionalism by politicians in Washington. In light of the failure of that Grand Design for France and Europe during his presidency, one might be tempted to dismiss the French president as a Don Quixote pursuing an impossible dream, whose influence on the international order during the Cold War was ephemeral.  But it would be a mistake to dismiss de Gaulle as a quaint remnant of a bygone era. In fact, his resolute pursuit of French independence in the era of superpower hegemony anticipated subsequent attempts by other powers to go their own way, whether or not they acknowledged their Gaullist inspiration.

This was particularly true with regard to one critical weapon in de Gaulle’s arsenal for ‘challenging American hegemony’ that receives only cursory attention in Martin’s book, namely, France’s independent nuclear policy. Martin briefly addresses de Gaulle’s campaign against the abortive American plan to create a Multilateral Nuclear Force (MLF) for Western Europe and his development of an independent nuclear striking force for France (36-39). But he makes no reference to General Pierre Gallois’s theory of ‘proportional deterrence’ and General André Beaufre’s concept of ‘multilateral deterrence,’ both of which provided the strategic rationale for France’s force de frappe.[13] France’s dogged pursuit of nuclear independence from its putative superpower protector set a precedent which other middle-size (and even small-size) powers have followed in later years.[14]

Finally, it is worth noting that one critical component of de Gaulle’s ability to challenge American hegemony during his time in office has been overlooked or downplayed by many historians of the subject, including Martin. De Gaulle knew that however harsh his criticism of American domination of NATO,  however directly his own policies collided with Washington’s strategic interests,  however audaciously he could seek warmer relations with the Communist world during a period of heightened Cold War tensions, a single geographical reality guaranteed that none of his independent and seemingly unfriendly initiatives would adversely affect Washington’s commitment to intervene in support of France and the rest of Western Europe in the event of aggression from the east.  Between France at one end of the Continent and the Communist bloc on the other sat West Germany, a country which the U.S. would defend at all cost. The presence of American GIs along the ‘Central Front’ on the border between the two Germanies, bolstered by the arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons that was at their disposal in the event of war, served as a ‘trip wire’ that provided France with all the security from invasion it required. This absolute certainty of American protection for its West European allies permitted the French President to ostentatiously defy Washington’s dictates in the numerous ways that Martin analyses with such clarity. Notwithstanding his periodic complaints about the unreliability of the American pledge of extended deterrence after the shift from the soothing strategy of massive retaliation in the 1950s to the anxiety-producing doctrine of flexible response in the 1960s, de Gaulle knew that the Atlantic alliance would respond to a Warsaw-Pact assault through the Fulda Gap at the inner German border long before its troops had reached the Rhine.

Compte-rendu par Maurice Vaisse, Professeur émérite, Sciences Po, Paris

Si on voulait faire du mauvais esprit à propos de ce livre, on dirait que l’auteur a volontairement choisi ses limites chronologiques pour une démonstration faite d’avance:

De Gaulle a perdu son pari puisque 1968 sonne le glas de ses tentatives de remettre en question à la fois le système de guerre froide et l’hégémonie américaine. Mais ce serait ne pas prendre en compte la recherche documentaire approfondie de l’auteur et son habileté d’analyse. A l’évidence, Garret Martin a travaillé dans des fonds d’archives abondants français et étrangers, il a lu les ouvrages pertinents dont il a bien assimilé les perspectives, et dont il se sert avec talent. En 200 pages, G Martin nous offre une vision  de la politique étrangère française, sous l’angle de la guerre froide entre 1963 et 1968.L’auteur ne tombe pas dans une critique systématique de la politique gaullienne, et il plaide même pour une réévaluation de celle-ci. De ce point de vue, cette appréciation plus équilibrée de la politique du Général va dans le même sens que la série d’études  de qualité réunies par Benjamin Rowland: Charles de Gaulle’s Legacy of Ideas, publiées en 2011.[15]

Il n’est pas question de reprendre toutes les analyses de l’auteur, mais je voudrais dire d’abord tout le bien que je pense de certains développements, ensuite dire mon désaccord avec certaines de ses affirmations. S’il n’est pas très original de dire que de Gaulle veut restaurer le rang de la France et dépasser l’ordre bipolaire de la guerre froide, l’ analyse de la conception que le général de Gaulle a de la guerre froide est, de mon point de vue, correcte et intelligente :  de Gaulle estime, en effet, que la guerre froide est un phénomène transitoire et qu’il faut dépasser ce stade L’auteur a raison de dénoncer les contradictions de la politique française à l’égard du Tiers Monde, qui d’un côté apporte son aide aux Etats africains, de l’autre vend des armes au régime d’apartheid sud-africain. De même, l’auteur a-t-il raison de montrer que la France qui se veut proche des pays du Tiers Monde professe en même temps une  conception aristocratique des relations internationales, par exemple en tenant  à son statut de membre permanent au rôle du Conseil de sécurité.  Ainsi Martin estime-t-il que de Gaulle laisse la France dans une position bien meilleure que celle de 1958, que-sur le plan de l‘histoire générale-la conception gaullienne est importante, car elle a contribué au rapprochement des deux blocs, malgré 1968, et que sur la question allemande, elle a clairement donné la priorité à la détente sur la réunification.

Certes, l’auteur n’a pas perdu toute vision négative de la France gaullienne  quand, utilisant l’expression «behind closed doors» ou utilisant des reférences aux ouvrages de Peyrefitte,[16] il évoque les véritables motivations gaulliennes ou lorsque dans un style imagé il file la métaphore «du poor lonesome cowboy» (170), semblable à la France de 1967, qui a utilisé toutes ses cartouches et se retrouve privée de toute capacité de nuisance. Je voudrais prendre quelques cas où je ne me sens pas en accord avec l’interprêtation de l’auteur. Par exemple, lorsque, pour démontrer la tendance pro-soviétique de l’Elysée et le comportement plus réservé des diplomates, l’auteur explique (64) que le télégramme d’instructions envoyé à l’ambassadeur Philippe Baudet a été rédigé par l’Elysée et modifié par le ministre des affaires étrangères, c’est hautement improbable: de Gaulle laissait les diplomates faire leur travail et intervenait a posteriori. Quand Martin voit un lien (102) entre la crise de la chaise vide et la sortie de l’OTAN, je crois qu’il se trompe: d’un côté, il y avait nécessité de trouver en 1965 une solution pour le financement de la politique agricole commune, de l’autre De Gaulle attendait sa réélection en décembre 1965 pour pouvoir en 1966 rompre avec l’intégration atlantique. En revanche, il y a assurément un lien entre la décision concernant l’OTAN et le voyage en URSS. Martin a raison (119) d’évoquer les arguments géopolitiques de l’ambassadeur Philippe Baudet pour réfuter toute perspective de voir l’URSS entrer dans une Europe «européenne», mais il aurait pu regrouper les indications éparses dans son livre sur les différentes tendances de la diplomatie française, en utilisant mieux des ouvrages qu’il connait[17] et d’autres dont il n’a pas connaissance.[18]  Dans les relations avec la Roumanie, G. Martin utilise le livre de Wolton[19] bien informé mais clairement orienté dans le sens d’une France sous influence: le discours de de Gaulle à Bucarest aurait été censuré à la demande de Ceauscescu pour ne pas mécontenter Moscou (177): franchement, ce n’est pas sérieux! Imagine-t-on de Gaulle accepter de modifier son discours ?

Sur la question du Tiers monde, j’ai aussi quelques désaccords avec l’auteur :par exemple quand il évoque la politique française de coopération, il y voit surtout (81) un but intéressé, qu’il n’est pas question de nier , mais il s’agit d’abord et avant tout d’un grand effort national , sur le plan humain et financier. De même, le Tiers Monde n’est pas marginal dans la grande stratégie de de Gaulle (85) et en particulier pendant la période décrite par G Martin, au point que la diplomatie française se déploie vers tous ces pays et que le président en exercice de l’OUA vient voir de Gaulle lui dire que la France mérite de faire partie des pays non-alignés. De même, l’auteur insiste sur le fait que le Vietnam devient le principal champ d’intérêt de la France dans le monde au détriment des autres régions (92): il est vrai que, dans ses entretiens, de Gaulle parait vraiment préoccupé par la guerre du Vietnam; mais celle-ci est la question internationale prioritaire dans ces années-là et pas seulement pour la France; il est inexact de dire que la diplomatie française néglige le reste du monde; bien au contraire, elle se redèploie de façon très importante vers les pays de l’Afrique anglophone et les pays du golfe Persique.

Ces quelques remarques n’enlèvent rien à l’impression favorable que je conserve de la lecture de ce livre: s’il n’apporte rien de vraiment nouveau et si surtout il est clairement délimité dans son ambition, laissant de côté beaucoup d’aspects de la politique étrangère,

c’est un ouvrage bienvenu pour un public anglophone grâce à une conception enfin plus équilibrée.

Review by Maurice Vaisse, Professor Emeritus, Sciences Po, Paris

Translated by Diane Labrosse, H-Diplo managing editor

If one wanted to play the devil’s advocate, one would say that the author of this book deliberately chose its chronological boundaries in order to prove a pre-held assumption: Charles de Gaulle lost his wager, since 1968 sounded the death-knell to his attempts to challenge both the Cold-War system and American hegemony. But that would not take account of the author’s thorough documentary research and his analytical skill.  Garrett Martin has obviously worked in the collections of many French and foreign archives, and has read and assimilated the perspectives of the pertinent secondary work, which he employs with talent. In two-hundred pages, Martin offers a vision of French foreign policy through the perspective of the Cold War between 1963 and 1968. The author avoids a systematic critique of Gaullist policy, and even argues for its re-evaluation. In this respect, this more balanced evaluation of the General’s policies echoes the impressive series of studies edited by Benjamin M. Rowland in Charles de Gaulle’s Legacy of Ideas (2011).[20]

Rather than summarizing the author’s arguments, I will first discuss the areas where I think highly of the book, and then offer my disagreement with some of the author’s arguments. If it is not overly original to argue that de Gaulle wanted to restore the rank of France and overcome the bipolar order of the Cold War, the evaluation of de Gaulle’s conception of the Cold War is, from my point of view, correct and intelligent. De Gaulle thought, in effect, that the Cold War was a transitory phenomenon and that it was necessary to move on from this state. The author is correct to criticize the contradiction in French policy with regard to the Third World, which on the one hand supported aid to African states, and on the other sold arms to the South African apartheid regime. Similarly, the author is correct to demonstrate that the France which wanted to engage the countries of the Third World professed at the same time an aristocratic conception of international relations, for instance, in holding on to its position of Permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Thus Martin believes that de Gaulle left France in a much better position than that of 1958, that – on the level of general history – the Gaullist conception was important, since it contributed to the rapprochement of the two blocs, despite 1968, and that on the German question, it clearly gave priority to détente over reunification.

Certainly, the author is capable of taking a negative view of Gaullist France, when, using the phrase “behind closed doors” or referring to the works of Alain Peyrefitte,[21] he evokes the true Gaullist motivation, or when, in a colourful style he draws out the metaphor of the “poor lonesome cowboy” (170), like the France of 1967, who has used all of his bullets and finds himself deprived of all capacity for harm. I would like to discuss a few cases where I am not in agreement with the author’s interpretation. For example, when, in order to demonstrate the pro-Soviet tendency of the Elysée and the more reserved comportment of the diplomats, the author explains (64) that the telegram of instruction sent to Ambassador Philippe Baudet was edited by the Elysée and modified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is highly improbable: de Gaulle allowed the diplomats to do their work and intervened a posteriori. While Martin sees a link (102) between the crisis of the open seat and the French departure from NATO, I believe that the author is mistaken: on the one hand, it would have been necessary to find in 1965 a solution for the financing of the Common Agricultural Policy, on the other hand, de Gaulle waited for his re-election in December 1965 to be able in 1966 to break with the Atlantic integration. On the other hand, there certainly was a link between the decision concerning NATO and de Gaulle’s trip to the USSR. Martin is correct to evoke (119) the geopolitical arguments of Ambassador Baudet in order to refute all perspectives of seeing the USSR enter in a “european” Europe, but he could have consolidated the scattered arguments in his book on the different tendencies of French diplomacy had he better used the sources with which he is familiar[22] and those with which he is unacquainted (the theses of Etienne Santiard, Sophie Pousset, Chantal Morelle, etc[23]). Concerning relations with Romania, Martin uses Thierry Wolton’s La France sous influence,[24] which is well-informed but clearly argues that France was under the influence of the Soviet Union: Martin argues that de Gaulle’s speech in Bucharest was censored at the demand of Nicolae Ceausescu in order not to displease Moscow (177). Frankly, this cannot be serious. Are we to imagine that de Gaulle actually agreed to modify his speech?

I also have some areas of disagreement with the author on the question of the Third World. For example, when he evokes the French policy of cooperation, he sees a self-interested goal, which there is no question of denying, but it was also first and foremost a great national effort, on the human and financial fronts. Similarly, the Third World was not insignificant in the grand strategy of de Gaulle (58), and in particular during the period described by Martin, where French diplomacy was deployed in all countries, and the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) came to tell de Gaulle that France deserved to be part of the non-aligned countries.  Also, the author insists on the fact that Vietnam became the principal global area of interest of France to the detriment other regions (92). It is true that, in his talks, de Gaulle appears to have been truly pre-occupied with the war in Vietnam, but this was the most important international question of these years, and not only for France. It is inexact to say that French diplomacy ignored the rest of the world; on the contrary, it was redeployed in a very important manner towards the countries of Anglophone Africa and the Persian Gulf.

These few comments do not detract from the favourable impression I retain after reading this book. If it does not add anything that is totally new, and it if is clearly circumscribed in its ambition, leaving aside many aspects of foreign policy, it is nonetheless a welcome book for an English audience thanks to its more balanced approach to the subject.

Author’s Response by Garret Martin, American University, School of International Service

I am very grateful for this roundtable on my recently published book General de Gaulle’s Cold War: Challenging American Hegemony, 1963-68 and I want to thank all the people who made it possible: Thomas Maddux, Diane Labrosse and George Fujii for organizing and hosting; Frédéric Bozo for his introduction; and Carine Germond, William Keylor, and Maurice Vaïsse for their insightful and thoughtful reviews. I will keep my response concise, concentrating on explaining why I picked this topic, underlining what I was trying to argue throughout the book, and addressing some of the main comments raised by the reviewers.

I was drawn to my topic for a number of reasons. For anyone born and raised in France, Charles de Gaulle remains an ubiquitous presence, a towering figure with not only an enduring legacy at home, but also a polarizing image abroad. I also wanted to follow in the footsteps of a growing number of scholars who have sought to ‘decenter’ the Cold War, shedding light on the conflict by moving away from a sole focus on the role of the superpowers.[25] Small and medium-sized countries, such as France, deserve greater scrutiny because they were hardly passive actors throughout the East-West conflict, often showing a higher degree of autonomy and initiative than they are generally given credit for.

Finally, the 1960s seemed a particularly intriguing period of the Cold War. Aside from its well-known major conflicts and crises, be they in Vietnam, Cuba, or the Middle East, or the turmoil and tension within the blocs, it was also a decade of great transition. The authority and influence of the United States and the Soviet Union were far less entrenched and more contested than they had been previously; the Cold War system was becoming a lot more diffuse.[26] This fluidity of the international system created opportunities for those who wanted to change the nature of East-West relations, including through the nascent movement of détente in Europe after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

My book seeks to contribute to our understanding of General de Gaulle, France, and the international history of Cold War during the 1960s by underlining several key arguments. First, considering his polarizing legacy, it aims to provide a more balanced account of de Gaulle’s foreign policy during a crucial period of the East-West conflict, and one that avoids the extreme viewpoints of him as either a visionary or as an irresponsible and anti-American nationalist. Yet although the French President may not have systematically been motivated by anti-American hostility, countering U.S. power still became increasingly pervasive and central to his policies as relations between both countries deteriorated during the 1960s.

Second, my book also sides with the school of thought that believes de Gaulle’s foreign policy in the 1960s pursued a somewhat coherent and ambitious grand design for France, which centered on the two key and interrelated aims of recapturing the country’s Great Power status and overcoming the Cold-War bipolar order. Indeed, not content with simply reforming the Western Alliance, the General also wanted to establish a new pan-European security system. In his vision of a modernized Concert of Europe, American troops would eventually leave the continent. In return, the Soviet Union would abandon East Germany, allowing German reunification and a real détente in Europe, along with independence for the satellite states.

He envisioned that France and the Soviet Union, as nuclear powers, would be the two main pillars of the system, but security would be guaranteed by an interlocking set of checks and balances. Paris and Moscow would contain Bonn, while a closer union between the states of Western Europe would contain Soviet power. The U.S. would play its traditional role of underwriter and ultimate arbiter of the European order.[27]  Thus, de Gaulle certainly pursued a Grand Design, but one that still largely remained Euro-centric. For most of the 1960s, the Third World stayed on the periphery of his action, confined as an area of competition for Great Powers keen to spread their spheres of influence.

Third, this book relies on an original methodology in its study of Gaullism on the international stage. Instead of focusing on various policy areas in isolation, it provides a comprehensive overview of French foreign policy that treats different geographic regions, as well as the spheres of the economy, political relations, and security, in the same analytical orbit. It points out the connections between France’s policies towards its Western allies and its opening to the Eastern bloc, and how its strategy towards the Third World became increasingly subordinated to Franco-American relations. It underlines the close ties between France’s security and monetary policies. Such an approach, which emphasizes linkages and interdependence, can help to provide a better understanding of de Gaulle’s grand strategy and its coherence.

Finally, this book suggests that the French President’s grand design was far from quixotic, that it was not doomed to fail, and that de Gaulle made important mistakes that contributed to the undoing of his diplomatic agenda.  It does so by analyzing the General’s foreign policy from an international perspective. That involved not only drawing on wide-ranging multinational archival research, but also placing de Gaulle in his international historical context. France could have a significant impact on the world stage during the 1960s precisely because it took advantage of a more fluid international context, and because de Gaulle’s ideas seemed in phase with the changes affecting the Cold War order.

Although their comments were generally positive, the reviewers did bring up a certain number of reservations and highlighted a number of omissions. William Keylor notes that I only gave limited attention to France’s nuclear policy. He also suggests that I did not sufficiently emphasize a key geographical reality that allowed de Gaulle to pursue his independent path, namely: “Between France at one end of the Continent and the Communist bloc on the other sat West Germany, a country which the U.S. would defend at all cost.” Carine Germond regrets that I did not use German archival sources and that I somewhat marginalized the impact of internal forces on French foreign policy. They both make valid points. Space, archival constraints (it is harder to get access to documents on France’s nuclear program) and linguistic limitations forced me at times to be selective, meaning I could not always do justice to all areas of French foreign policy in the 1960s. However, I specifically downplayed the influence of domestic forces on de Gaulle because he faced relatively few constraints in the early years (1963-65) that my book focuses on.

Maurice Vaïsse takes issue with some of my observations and analyses. I certainly agree with him that I could have been more careful with some of my sources and the judgments I drew from them. That applies, in particular, to de Gaulle’s speech in Bucharest (from Thierry Wolton’s book[28]) and the supposed instructions given by the Elysée to the French Ambassador in Moscow, Philippe Baudet (from a speculative source in a British Foreign Office document). But, I do have to offer a correction of Vaïsse’s comments on the NATO-European Economic Community (EEC) connection and the importance of the Third World for de Gaulle. On the latter issue, my book argues that during the 1960s, the Third World increasingly played a marginal role in de Gaulle’s grand strategy as it pertained to the Cold War; it does not, however, suggest that the Third World played no role whatsoever.

As for NATO and the EEC, there was an important link when it came to the timing of France’s withdrawal from the Atlantic Alliance’s integrated military structure. De Gaulle did not want to initiate the latter until he had ended the showdown in Brussels. As Piers Ludlow sums up elegantly, “the Community and NATO spheres were hence more like separate billiard balls, liable at times to touch and affect each other’s advance but otherwise subject to independent stimuli and dynamics.”[29]

Finally, even after thousands of books written on the subject, we cannot really say that we have the definitive account of de Gaulle. Part of that is tied to his often enigmatic personality and part of it is the product of an incomplete archival trail. The evidence at our disposal to analyze de Gaulle’s foreign policy in the 1960s is far more limited than what exists, say, for those who want to consider Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency. But those issues notwithstanding, I hope that my book contributes to keeping the debate going about a fascinating character of European and Cold War history.

[1] Maurice Vaïsse, La Grandeur. Politique étrangère du général de Gaulle, 1958-1969, (Paris: Fayard, 1998).

[2] See Frédéric Bozo, “France, ‘Gaullism,’ and the Cold War,” in Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, (eds.), Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 2, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); and Two Strategies for Europe: De Gaulle, the United States and the Atlantic Alliance, (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.)

[3] Thierry Wolton, La France sous influence: Paris-Moscou, 30 ans de relations secrètes. (Paris: Grasset, 1997).

[4] Quoted in Bernard Ledwidge, De Gaulle (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1982), p. 335.

[5] To mention but a few, see for instance his press conference from 14 January 1963 (first veto to British Membership), his (in)famous “Vive le Québec libre” in  1967.

[6] For example France’s controversial “Empty Chair” policy in the second half of 1965 or spectacular withdrawal from NATO’s integrated military structures in March 1966.

[7] See for instance Garret Martin, “Conclusion:  A Gaullist Grand Strategy?” in Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher, and Garret Martin, eds., Globalizing de Gaulle:  International Perspectives on French Foreign Policies, 1958 to 1969, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010, p. 291.

[8] Jeffrey Glenn Giauque, Grand Designs and Vision of Unity: The Atlantic Powers and the Reorganization of Western Europe, 1958-1963 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Erin Mahan, Kennedy, De Gaulle and Western Europe (Palgrave: New York, 2002).

[9] For the prior period, see for instance Guia Migani, La France et l’Afrique sub-saharienne 1957-1963 : Histoire d’une décolonisation entre idéaux eurafricains et politique de puissance (Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2008). See also the contributions by Yuko Trikata, Gadi Heimann, James Byrnes, Guia Migani and Joaquin Fernandois, in Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher, and Garret Martin, eds., Globalizing de Gaulle:  International Perspectives on French Foreign Policies, 1958 to 1969 (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010).

[10] See Frédéric Bozo, Two Strategies for Europe. De Gaulle, the United States and the Atlantic Alliance (Lanham: Rowmann & Littlefield, 2001); Robert O. Paxton, Nicholas Wahl, eds. De Gaulle and the United States. A Centennial Reappraisal (Oxford: Berg, 2004).

[11] See e.g. Thomas Gomart, Double Détente : Les relations franco-soviétiques de 1958 à 1964 (Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne, 2003); Benedikt Schoenborn, La mésentente apprivoisée. Charles de Gaulle et les Allemands, 1963-1969 (Paris: Presses Universitaire de France, 2007); Ulrich Lappenküper, Die deutsch-französischen Beziehungen, 1963-1969. Von der »Erbfeindschaft« zur »Entente élémentaire« ( Munich: Oldenburg, 2001).

[12] Warren F. Kimball, The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

[13] The strategic rationale for France’s nuclear deterrence is nicely summarized in Philip H. Gordon, A Certain Idea of France: French Security Policy and the Gaullist Legacy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 57-63.

[14] North Korea’s acquisition of a nuclear capability is reminiscent of the Gaullist strategy of proportional deterrence, that is, the ability of a small country to threaten a much larger country (the United States) after reducing its security dependence on a great-power protector (China).

[15] Benjamin M. Rowland, ed., Charles de Gaulle’s Legacy of Ideas (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011).

[16] Alain Peyrefitte, C’était de Gaulle, vols 1-3 (Paris: Fayard, 1994-2000).

[17] Jean Marie Soutou Un diplomate engagé : mémoirs 1939-1979 (Paris, Editions de Fallois, 2011).

[18] Etienne Santiard, La perception du problème soviétique par les diplomates français (1944-1958), Université de Paris 4, 2008; Sophie Pousset, Maurice Dejean, diplomate atypique (1899-1982), Sciences Po, 2013; Chantal Morelle, Louis Joxe, Diplomate dans l’âme, Editions André Versaille, 2010.

[19] Thierry Wolton, La France sous influence: Paris-Moscou, 30 ans de relations secrètes. (Paris : Grasset, 1997).

[20] Benjamin M. Rowland, ed., Charles de Gaulle’s Legacy of Ideas (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011).

[21] Alain Peyrefitte, C’était de Gaulle, vols 1-3 (Paris: Fayard, 1994-2000).

[22] For example, Jean Marie Soutou Un diplomate engagé : mémoirs 1939-1979 (Paris, Editions de Fallois, 2011).

[23] Etienne Santiard, La perception du problème soviétique par les diplomates français (1944-1958), Université de Paris 4, 2008; Sophie Pousset, Maurice Dejean, diplomate atypique (1899-1982), Sciences Po, 2013; Chantal Morelle, Louis Joxe, Diplomate dans l’âme, Editions André Versaille, 2010.

[24] Thierry Wolton, La France sous influence: Paris-Moscou, 30 ans de relations secrètes. (Paris: Grasset, 1997).

[25] Examples of this scholarship include, to name a few, Matthew Connelly, A diplomatic revolution : Algeria's fight for independence and the origins of the post-cold war era (Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002), Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting missions : Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976 (Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2002), Tanya Harmer, Allende's Chile and the Inter-American Cold War (Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2011); Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets up the wall : Soviet-East German relations, 1953-1961 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003); Lien-Hang Nguyen, Hanoi’s War: an International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam (Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012)

[26] John Dumbrell, President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet communism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 26

[27] Georges-Henri Soutou, “La décision française de quitter le commandement intégré de l’OTAN (1966)”, in Von Truman bis Harmel: Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Spannungsfeld von NATO und europäischer Integration, ed. Hans-Joachim Harder (München: R. Oldenbourg, 2000), 194-96.

[28] Thierry Wolton, La France sous influence: Paris-Moscou, 30 ans de relations secrètes. (Paris: Grasset, 1997).

[29] N. Piers Ludlow, The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s: Negotiating the Gaullist challenge (London: Routledge, 2006), 114.


Categories: Roundtables, Roundtable