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Some new books will be rendered instantly obsolete by the pandemic, others only more relevant to understanding the world to come. William Drozdiak’s “The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron’s Race to Revive France and Save the World” belongs in the latter category. Drozdiak outlines the urgency of the French president’s vision for a united and sovereign Europe and the high obstacles it faces. The pandemic places greater importance on both the vision and the hurdles.

Financial Times Review: The Last President of Europe by William Drozdiak

May 11th, 2020


Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Le Puy-en-Velay, a town in the Auvergne region of south-central France, in December 2018 must be one of the low points of his presidency. The gilets jaunes protests at that point seemed to threaten his government’s survival. Violent demonstrators had run amok in central Paris on three consecutive weekends and the unrest had spread to the provinces.


The prefecture in Le Puy-en-Velay had been attacked and set alight by a mob. Mr Macron came to the town to see the damage and show solidarity with public servants whose lives had been threatened. Word spread of the president’s visit and protesters quickly gathered to vent their anger.

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