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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Half a Century of Secrets

Seven French investigative journalists are to publish a sprawling, 700-page account of secret dealings and events under the eloquent title of Histoire Secrete de la 5eme Republique in Paris on Nov. 2 (Editions La Decouverte).

As France is preparing for a presidential election next year in a 5th Republic that seems somewhat out of breathe, the book draws up an inventory of nearly 50 years of secret episodes related to the Algerian war, decolonization, the nuclear lobby, secret networks, intelligence agency operations and the like. In over 100 sections penned in clear-cut and uncompromising terms, the authors take pains to detect links between present-day scandals and those of the 20th century. The two newsmen who supervised the editorial content, Roger Faligot and Jean Guisnel, have written over 50 investigative works between them and they chose a skilful mix of co-authors: Remi Kauffer, a historian specializing in the Algerian war and the Resistance; Renaud Lecadre, a journalist at Liberation; Martine Orange, who works for the business magazine Challenges; Francois Mayle from the newsmagazine Le Point; and Francis Zamponi, who specializes in issues concerning the police. The upshot is a book that offers both background and new material discovered recently in archives or uncovered by the authors in the course of their investigations. There is an index of over 3,000 names to help experts unravel the secrets behind half a century of French history.
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