'Testimony' brings together material from three books Sarkozy has already published in France. The other two volumes are 'libre' (which means free in French), an autobiographical account of Sarkozy's rise to power within the French political system, and Ensemble (which means together), a manifesto of principle and policy published in France just before the election this spring. Neither book has appeared in English translation. Our book also includes material drawn from a major foreign policy speech, an update post–election of all chapters, and a new preface–3,000 to 4,000 words long–to be based on an original interview with Sarkozy by Philip H. Gordon, the translator and editor of our 'Testimony'. About 20% of the book is completely new material.
'Testimony' focuses on such questions as what Sarkozy's pro–American stance will mean for France's traditionally independent foreign policy, how his own vision for Europe will affect other members of the European Union, and the ways in which he proposes to reform French society. Two elements in the book are notable. The first is Sarkozy's stated admiration for the United States, which is unorthodox for a French leader and for British parliamentary democracy. The second is his unusual candour about France's failings. Over the past quarter of a century, he argues, France has become a stagnant society that has destroyed the value of work and deluded itself into thinking that its welfare system is sustainable. While the rest of Europe has tried to adapt to globalization, France has denied it. Sarkozy promises to reinvent France's social model in order to revive economic growth.
Sarkozy's vision and ideas are both more daring and more coherent than those of any other French leader in decades. Furthermore, he remains optimistic about France, insisting that the country is impatient, exasperated by delays, and eager for profound change. In this book, Sarkozy comes across as bold, pragmatic, a risk–taker, and above all, audacious