Futurist of the Nation
by Régis Debray
Debray is one of the most eminent left-wing intellectuals alive now in France. He comes from a very radical tradition: in the 1960s he trained with Fidel Castro, he went and fought with Che Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia… His left-wing credentials are absolutely impeccable, and yet in 1990, the centenary year of de Gaulle’s birth, he brings out this book in which he celebrates de Gaulle’s memory. This quite a big shock because up to this point his political background seemed to be opposed to all the things it seemed de Gaulle stood for. What Debray does in the book is to go over his own trajectory and all the people he worked for and he comes to the conclusion that the left in France had never really understood the nation, what it means to be part of a nation, and that the person who understands this best is de Gaulle.