The General's Niece

The General's Niece
The General's Niece

The General's Niece

The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France
By Paige Bowers

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

272 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Cloth, $26.99 (US $26.99) (CA $35.99)

ISBN 9781613736098

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Jun 2017)

eBook

eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $26.99
 
Google Preview
9781613736098
Media Copy

Overview

"My dear Uncle Charles," twenty-two-year-old Genevieve de Gaulle wrote on May 6, 1943. "Maybe you have already heard about the different events affecting the family." The general's brother Pierre had been taken by the Gestapo; his brother Xavier, Genevieve's father, had escaped to Switzerland. Genevieve asked her uncle where she could be most useful—France? England? A French territory? When no response came immediately, she decided to stay in France to help carry out his call to resist the Nazis.Based on interviews with family members, former associates, prominent historians, and never-before-seen papers written by Genevieve de Gaulle, The General's Niece is the first English-language biography of Charles de Gaulle's niece, confidante, and daughter figure, Genevieve, to whom the legendary French general and president dedicated his war memoirs.Journalist Paige Bowers leads readers through the remarkable life of this young woman who risked death to become one of the most devoted foot soldiers of the French resistance. Beginning with small acts of defiance such as tearing down swastikas and pro-Vichy posters, she eventually ferried arms and false letters of transit to fellow resistants and edited and distributed the nation's largest underground newspaper, until she was arrested and sent to the infamous Ravensbuck concentration camp. The General's Niece reveals the horrors the young de Gaulle witnessed and endured there that could have broken her spirit but instead inspired her many remaining years of activism on behalf of former prisoners and of France's neediest citizens.Finally emerging from the shadow of her famous uncle, the life of this little-known de Gaulle adds a fascinating layer to the history of the second world war, including the French resistance, the horrors of and unshakeable bonds formed at Ravensbruck, and the issues facing postwar France and its leaders.

Reviews

"Paige Bowers is an emerging talent in narrative nonfiction/history, an intellectually curious reporter who has the ability to tell rich, well-researched stories about some of history's most fascinating people and events."  —Aminda Marques Gonzalez, executive editor of Miami Herald, member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and former Miami bureau chief of People

"This is such an inspiring story, written with clarity and conviction. Paige Bowers's excellent biography reveals Geneviève de Gaulle as one of the bravest and most dignified among young French resisters. At last, women who resisted the Nazis in France are being given the long-overdue recognition they deserve." —Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes

"At once exhilarating and heartbreaking, captivating and horrifying, Bowers's account of Geneviève de Gaulle's journey from cautious defiance to full-blown resistance operative, through the horror of a concentration camp, to the even longer fight for a modern, egalitarian France is a timely, much-needed story of patriotism, courage, and the all-too-often ignored role of women in twentieth-century history." —Bill Lascher, author of Eve of a Hundred Midnights

"This stirring biography is a worthy epitaph for a woman who passionately believed that France should never forget its cherished values of justice and fraternity." —Ronald C. Rosbottom, author of When Paris Went Dark

"Paige Bowers delivers a story that is alternately pulse pounding and heart wrenching. With elegant style, Bowers gives Geneviève de Gaulle an independent identity, restoring her to her proper place in history." —Theresa Kaminski, author of Angels of the Underground

"A resistance fighter deported to Ravensbrück, Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz maintained her sanity through solidarity with her fellow female prisoners. After her return to France, she exorcised the psychological scars of her internment by dedicating herself to working with the unjustly marginalized. This book reminds one that a compassionate humanity is possible even in the face of unimaginable brutality. The General's Niece is essential reading." —Rosemary Sullivan, author of Stalin's Daughter

"An important and accessible addition to the always popular WWII history collection." —Booklist

Author Biography

Paige Bowers is a news and features writer whose work has appeared in TIME, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, People, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, and others. A lifelong Francophile, she earned a master's degree in modern European history in 2012 and teaches continuing education classes at Louisiana State University about French history and culture. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.