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markk

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The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
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The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
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Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
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An excellent introduction to the French leader

De Gaulle - Julian Jackson

Normally I'm not a fan of short biographies, as for too many of them concision of the subject's life comes at the cost of in-depth insight. There are some books, however, which are the exception to this, and Julian Jackson's biography of Charles de Gaulle is one of them. A big reason for this is his prioritization of what matters; the majority of the book focuses on de Gaulle's political career, in particular his eleven years as president of France. Yet Jackson doesn't ignore de Gaulle's early life, as he summarizes it in a way that highlights his development as a leader, such as his inter-war writings and his relationship with Philippe Pétain. While this necessarily means that subjects such as his personal life get short shrift, the result is a book that is a superb introduction for anyone seeking an introduction to the French leader and his legacy.