A definitive biography of the mythic general who refused to accept the Nazi domination of France, drawing on unpublished letters, memoirs, and papers in the newly opened de Gaulle archives that show how this volatile man put a broken France back at the center of world affairs. In the early summer of 1940, when France was overrun by German troops, one junior general who had fought in the trenches in Verdun refused to accept defeat. He fled to London, where he took to the radio to address his compatriots back home. "Whatever happens," he said, "the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished." At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered history. For the rest of the war, de Gaulle insisted he and his Free French movement were the true embodiment of France. Sometimes aloof but confident in his leadership, he quarreled violently with Churchill and Roosevelt. Through sheer force of personality he inspired French men and women to risk their lives to resist the Nazi occupation. Thanks to de Gaulle, France was recognized as one of the victorious Allies when Germany was finally defeated. Then, as President of the Fifth Republic, de Gaulle brought France to the brink of a civil war over his controversial decision to pull out of Algeria. Julian Jackson's landmark biography, the first major reconsideration in over twenty years, captures this titanic figure as never before.-- Provided by publisher.