Is that Charles de Gaulle?
Vive Jean Bastien-Thiry!
Hélas, they never put Jean Bastien-Thiry on a coin.
Thank you for this piece, an elderly Charles de Gaulle. Which coin is this?
In many respects Charles de Gaulle was a pretty awful leader, of course. The record in Algeria speaks for itself. After a military revolt brought him into power he announced that Algeria was French. This made many of the natives choose to support the civilian authorities on the basis that they were staying. Just a few short years later he abandonned the place with terrible results. The one million European inhabitants fled and there were devilish reprisals against the loyalist Harkis who were betrayed to grim deaths. Overall, his decisions removed twenty percent of the population of that country through emigration or slaughter over subsequent years.
He is remembered for two reasons. The first is that he gave the French people a myth to believe in: that they resisted the Germans. The second is that under his presidency the economy grew. These hardly outweigh his failings and rudeness to his old hosts during his exile, such as his withdrawal from the integrated NATO structure and his Quebec speech.
Niche academic publications: The 14th Century English Mystics Newsletter
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Talleyrand was asked advice on starting a religion to replace Christianity: "I recommend you be crucified and rise again on the third day."
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