Pierre Moscovici, a French destiny

The book is addressed to his son, Joseph, to whom he does not want “nothing to hide”. At 66, Pierre Moscovici, who has chaired the Court of Auditors for three years, tells his story in a fine and unique book, Our best years (Gallimard, 370 pages, 24 euros). A memory exercise so as not to let it continue “the terrible culture of silence” that his parents, Ashkenazi Jews lastingly marked by the war, had imposed on their children.

The one who defines himself as “son of a metic” evokes at length the tutelary figure of his father, a brilliant intellectual, a “monument”. Serge Moscovici arrived in Paris from Romania in 1948, after having witnessed pogroms, an experience which “disconnects the nerves of life”. The son dwells less on his mother, a renowned psychoanalyst, ambitious and rebellious, than “the wounds of war did not leave one in peace”. Two parents who wanted another life for their children: “Not knowing this feeling of being strangers in [leur] own country, but on the contrary that[ils] can[ent] go to the heart of French society.” It sums : “We did it, largely for them. »

He recounts his Trotskyist youth, his studies at Nanterre, then at Sciences Po and the ENA. He smokes Craven A’s, has long curly hair and “a tender look behind the dark circles”. In the evening, he goes out to Bains Douches or to Castel, and he “love it”. Although he completed all the stages of the perfect cursus honorum (deputy, minister, deputy then European commissioner), he remained far from supreme power. Long perceived as a dandy dilettante, who preferred the cafes of Saint-Germain-des-Prés to late meetings, the person concerned recognizes that he has always lived in a split way: absorbed by politics (which he still happens to have today to dream at night), and constantly seeking to escape from it. “Not a day in my life have I had the obsession to run for the presidency of the Republic”he swears, arguing that he was not ready to “give up all privacy”.

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Our best years retraces forty years of history of a left which was lost, forgetting that it was primarily used to fight against inequalities. “You know, Lionel, “worker” is not a bad word”, had slipped Pierre Mauroy to Lionel Jospin, during the 2002 campaign, which ended as we know. Left “cannot be solely an addition of libertarian reforms on a societal level or liberal ones on an economic level”, admits the social democrat and ardent European. The former Minister of the Economy gives a harsh essment of the five-year term ” missed “ by François Hollande, a “mive political failure”. He describes the former president as both a being “funny, lively, pleasant”but also of great ” hardness “, “deeply individualistic”. He was a “respectable statesman”but one “often pusillanimous and clumsy political leader”while many expected it to be the opposite.

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