Mitterrand

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0120131125

The infamous Observatory Affair nearly finishes Mitterrand's political career.

'Other nations have scandals. The French have affairs.' And Francois Mitterrand was no exception.

Former BBC foreign correspondent Philip Short has written a compelling biography of the French leader who was famous for his ambiguity.

Henry Goodman reads the fascinating story, starting with the infamous 'Observatory Affair', which nearly finished Mitterrand's political career.

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

0220131126

In the late 1930s, as a student in Paris, Mitterrand had some difficult choices to make.

Francois Mitterrand was the son of a station master at Angouleme in Cognac country but by the late 1930's, as a student in Paris, he had discovered a fascination with politics.

And with his political ideas still forming in his mind, he was faced with the dilemma of whether to follow the right wing tradition of his conservative, Catholic family or whether to branch out; whether he would support the Vichy government or help to form a Resistance.

This new biography of Mitterrand has been written by former BBC Foreign Correspondent Philip Short.

Reader: Henry Goodman

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall.

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

0320131127

Mitterrand kept his private life quiet for most of his career, but he had two families.

Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk

For most of Francois Mitterrand's career, there was a gentleman's agreement among the French media that a politician's private life should not be splashed across the front pages.

And so Mitterrand's private life was kept quiet for most of his career - but he had two families and Philip Short, the author of this biography, has spoken both to his wife and his mistress.

Read by Henry Goodman

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

0420131128

As president of the EEC, Mitterrand goes out of his way to cultivate 'Dear Mrs Thatcher'.

In 1984, when he was president of the EEC, and despite their political differences, Mitterrand went out of his way to cultivate 'Dear Mrs Thatcher'. He said of her accent, 'If you close your eyes, you could think she's Jane Birkin.'

This biography of the French President was written by Philip Short, and is read by Henry Goodman.

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LAST20131129

Mitterrand leaves the Elysee Palace for the last time in 1995, after 14 years in power.

Mitterrand left the Elysee Palace for the last time in 1995, after 14 years in power. In the words of his rival Jacque Chirac, he bequeathed to France 'a modern, calm democracy'.

He spent his last days not at the house he had shared with his wife, but in a state apartment where both of his families could spend time with him.

This biography of the French President was written by Philip Short, and is read by Henry Goodman.

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall.

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.