Contre bonne fortune…
Pierre Belfond Paris 1983 373pp.
Autobiography. The dust jacket to the English edition sums up these honest, frank and elegant memoirs:'Baron de Rothschild evokes the magical atmosphere of his parents' chateau at Ferrières and his intense yearnings, as a young man, for independence. He writes movingly about his experiences in battle during the German invasion of France, about being torpedoed in mid-Atlantic later in the war, and about a terrifying and ridiculous kidnapping attempt upon his son. He describes his broad-ranging efforts to modernize and diversify the activities of the family firm, and dedicates a chapter to this friendship with a young employee, Georges Pompidou, who went on to become de Gaulle's prime minister and eventually president of France. He is frank in his views about France under the Socialists, about the current situation of Israel, and about international affairs, which he now surveys from New York where he has lived and worked since the Mitterand government nationalized the Rothschild bank in 1982. Guy de Rothschild has many sides - the private family man, the Jewish community leader, the expert breeder and racer of thoroughbred horses - to which he devotes some of the most fascinating pages of his book.'