The General's Niece
The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France
Chicago Review Press 2017
New Books in BiographyNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in French StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network September 19, 2017 Mark Klobas
When Charles de Gaulle issued his famous call in June 1940 for the French people to continue fighting Nazi Germany, among those within Occupied France who took up the cause was his young niece Genevieve. In The General’s Niece: The Little Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France (Chicago Review Press, 2017), Paige Bowers tells the story of her life, one lived in perilous times. The daughter of Charles’s oldest brother Xavier, when war broke out Genevieve found herself buffeted by the dislocations that resulted. In the aftermath of the German conquest, she moved from small acts of individual defiance to full participation in the burgeoning Resistance movement, where she helped to educate her countrymen about her previously obscure uncle. Though her possession of the de Gaulle name often drew unwanted attention from the Occupation authorities, she found daring ways to use it to her advantage. Genevieve’s arrest in June 1943 led to her detention in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, an experience which as Bowers shows fueled her postwar activities on behalf of her fellow Resistance detainees, as well as her subsequent activism to fight to end chronic poverty.