Sarkozy, Nicolas 1955-

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Sarkozy, Nicolas 1955-


Born January 28, 1955, in Paris, France; son of Paul Sarkozy (a Hungarian immigrant) and a French mother; married; wife's name Cecilia; children: three. Education: Master's degree in private law, 1978; holds Diplôme d'études approfondies (a postgraduate, pre-Ph.D. degree); attended the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris, France, 1979-1981, and Paris University, Nanterre.




President of France, lawyer, politician, and writer. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, member of municipal council, 1977, mayor, 1983-2002; Hauts-de-Seine, vice chairman of general council, 1986-88, chairman, 2004, national assembly deputy, 1988-2002; Rassemblement pour la République (RPR), national secretary, 1988-89, deputy general secretary, 1992-93, general secretary, 1998, acting chairman, 1999, departmental committee, chairman, 2000; French budget minister and spokesperson for French Prime Minister Eduard Balladur, 1993-95; French minister for communication, 1994-95; French minister of the interior, 2002-04, 2005; Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), chairman, 2004; French minister for the economy, 2004; president of the French Republic, 2007—.


Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur; Grand Croix de l'Ordre National du Mérite; Croix de la Valeur Militaire; Médaille de l'Aéronautique (aerospace industry); Chevalier du Mérite Agricole, des Arts et des Lettres, de l'Etoile Noire, du Mérite Sportif; Grand Cross of Merit of the Sovereign Order of Malta.


Georges Mandel: Le moine de la politique, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1994.

Au bout de la passion, l'équilibre: Entretiens avec Michel Denisot, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1995.

Libre, R. Laffont/Fixot (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Thibaud Collin and Philippe Verdin) La république, les religions, l'espérance, Cerf (Paris, France), 2004.

Témoignage, Editions XO (Paris, France), 2006, translation by Philip H. Gordon published as Testimony: France in the Twenty-first Century, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Ensemble, Editions XO (Paris, France), 2007.


Nicolas Sarkozy is the president of France, elected in 2007 after a well-publicized campaign against his Socialist opponent, Sègoléne Royal. Born in Paris, France, in 1955, Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian immigrant father and a French mother of Greek Jewish heritage. Educated as a lawyer, Sarkozy spent several years practicing law before entering the political world. A longtime politician, he began his career when he became a council member in the upscale Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1977, when he was twenty-two years old. In 1983, Sarkozy was elected mayor of Neuilly, a position that he retained for nineteen years. A decade later, in 1993, Sarkozy stepped into his first post in the French government when he became budget minister and spokesperson for Prime Minister Eduard Balladur. He held numerous government posts during his career, including minister for communication, minister of the interior, and minister of the economy. Once an important member of President Jacques Chirac's administration, Sarkozy fell out of Chirac's favor when he became allied with Balladur in an unsuccessful presidential race against Chirac. Later, after reconciling with Chirac, Sarkozy became the administration's minister of the interior in 2002. Sarkozy again challenged his mentor, becoming president of the French Republic in a decisive victory in the 2007 elections.

Throughout Sarkozy's career in politics, he has "battled criticism that he is too zealous and hard-edged," commented Carol Matlack in Business Week. These characteristics served him well during his stint as minister of the interior, when much of his time was dedicated to addressing and fighting crime in France. His dedication, personal approach, and tenacious adherence to his goals and policies helped make him a popular political figure, with expansive support from his voter base. In the wake of the 2007 elections, Sarkozy "has a powerful mandate from the French people to push through reforms, after a huge turnout in the election which saw him triumph over" Royal, noted a reporter on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News Web site. A tireless, almost hyperactive worker, Sarkozy—known in many circles as Sarko—brings new energy and modern ideas to the governance of France.

In addition to his role as a statesman and political leader, Sarkozy is also the author of several books. French politicians and leaders are considered intellectuals and are expected to be writers as well, noted a reviewer in the Economist. ‘Nobody in France asks how a minister has time to write a book. To publish is to exist," the Economist reviewer stated. Furthermore, the critic observed, "The elite considers the command of written French as an expression of national identity" and serves as a means of connection with French hero De Gaulle, who wrote prolifically before joining the Resistance and becoming a politician. "Since his time, every president has tried to follow suit," the Economist writer reported.

In Testimony: France in the Twenty-first Century, published in France as Tèmoignage, Sarkozy offers a pre-election evaluation of France and its policies, and a manifesto with a clear summary of Sarkozy's political attitudes and aspirations. Written while he was still minister of the interior and considering his run for the presidency, Testimony contains Sarkozy's criticism of the French as he expounds on his pro-America stance, explains why he is in favor of the American style of economic dynamism as opposed to the suffocating morass of regulation found in France, and encourages France to retain its "social safety net" intact and unchanged. He also approaches controversial topics for the French, including the use of affirmative action in the country, French wealth creation and distribution, crime control and criminal justice, his opposition to the death penalty, and more. Booklist reviewer Jay Freeman named the book a "candid series of observations from a politician likely to play a major role in future world affairs."



Africa News Service, May 28, 2007, "New President, Renewed Direction."

Booklist, April 15, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of Testimony: France in the Twenty-first Century, p. 20.

Bookseller, December 2, 2005, Barbara Casassus, "Sarkozy in Censorship Storm," p. 12; February 24, 2006, "Controversial Sarkozy Book ‘reworked’," p. 16; December 22, 2006, "Sarkozy Gives Testimony to UK," p. 10.

Business Week, February 3, 2003, Carol Matlack, "‘Sarko’ in the Spotlilght; The New Interior Minister Has Flair—and Presidential Hopes," p. 24; November 21, 2005, Carol Matlack, "Man in the Middle of a Firestorm: As Riots Rage, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Is Feeling the Heat for His Tough Policing Tactics," p. 28.

Economist, July 29, 2006, "Publish or Perish; French Politicians," p. 50; March 3, 2007, "America's Friend; The French Election"; p. 86; May 19, 2007, "An Inclusive Government; France's New President," p. 56; May 26, 2007, "A Study in Perpetual Motion; France's New Government," p. 54.

Economist Intelligence Unit: Country Views Wire, May 11, 2007, "France Politics: The Gaullist Revolutionary," profile of Nicolas Sarkozy.

European Report, May 31, 2005, "Chirac Appoints Villepin as Prime Minister, Sarkozy to Home Affairs," p. 104.

European Venture Capital Journal, October, 2004, "Sarkozy Boosts French Private Equity," p. 7.

Financial Times, May 7, 2007, Martin Arnold, Peggy Hollinger, and John Thornhill, "Sarkozy Sweeps to Power in France," p. 1; May 21, 2007, "A Very French Sort of Grand Coalition: Sarkozy's Inclusiveness Is Smart. Now Let's See What He Does," p. 12; May 28, 2007, Wolfgang Munchau, "Sarkozy's Plans Are Bad Economic Governance," p. 9; June 5, 2007, John Thornhill, "Sarkozy Determined to Make His Mark," p. 8; June 12, 2007, Newt Gingrich, "A French Lesson for America's Grand Old Party," p. 13.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2007, Sophie Pedder, "Atypically French: Sarkozy's Bid to Be a Different Kind of President," review of Testimony, p. 122.

Global Agenda, November 29, 2004, "The Changing of the Guard; Old France, New France; Sarkozy, Chirac, and the Battle of Ideas."

Harvard International Review, spring, 2006, Rezwan Haque, "The Sarkozy Factor: France's Big Decision," p.11.

New Internationalist, March, 2006, profile of Nicolas Sarkozy, p. 27.

New Leader, July-August, 2004, Janice Valls-Russell, "France's Rivalry at the Top," p. 8; September 1, 2005, "Dueling to Succeed Chirac," p. 11.

Newsweek International, Marie Valla, "The Point Man on Muslims," p. 57.

New Statesman, January 5, 2004, David Lawday, "The Son of a Hungarian Immigrant, the Interior Minister Has Taken France by Storm. Can He Now Push Chirac Aside?," p. 16.

New York Times, November 22, 2003, Elaine Sciolino, "French Official Looks in His Mirror and Sees Future President," p. A3; June 30, 2004, Elaine Sciolino, "Chirac's Rule, a New Rule, Is Applied to a Rival," p. A3; November 29, 2004, Ariane Bernard, "Gaullist Party Chooses a New Leader with Presidential Ambitions," p. 4; July 24, 2006, Katrin Bennhold, "No Pats on the Back from France's No. 2," p. A6; May 7, 2007, Elaine Sciolino, "Sarkozy, Elected in France, Vows Break with Past," p. A1; May 15, 2007, Serge Schmemann, "The New French President's Roots Are Worth Remembering," p. A18; May 17, 2007, Elaine Sciolino, "Sarkozy Gets Off to a Fast Start as President of France," p. A3.

Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PAC), May 7, 2007, "Nicolas Sarkozy Elected French President."

Publishers Weekly, January 22, 2007, review of Testimony, p. 180.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2007, review of Testimony.

Spectator, April 8, 2006, Allister Heath, "Meet the Real Sarkozy: The Man Who Could Save France: Allister Heath Has Gained Access to the Inner Circle of France's Interior Minister. Here, He Offers a Unique Portrait of the Presidential Hopeful," p. 18; April 14, 2007, Allister Heath, "Can Sarko Halt France's Decline?"; April 28, 2007, "There Is Less to France's Choice Than Meets the Eye."

Time, November 21, 2005, James Graff, "The Palace Provocateur," p. 50.

Time International, December 2, 2002, J.F.O. McAllister, "A Shock to the System: The Public Is Scared and Angry about Crime. So Politicians Are Cracking Down with Tough New Laws That Take a Bite out of Precious Civil Liberties," p. 68; December 2, 2002, Bruce Crumley, "Speedy's Race against Crime," p. 71; October 11, 2004, Bruce Crumley, "President Sarkozy? France's Popular Finance Minister Is Leaving Government to Make a Bid for President of His Party. But That's Just for Starters. In an Exclusive Interview, Nicolas Sarkozy Tells Time Why His Next Stop Will Be the Elysee," p. 26; July 4, 2005, James Graff, "The Right Stuff," p. 24.

Weekly Standard, February 27, 2006, Christopher Caldwell, "The Man Who Would Be le President: Nicolas Sarkozy Wants to Wake up France."

Xinhua News Agency, May 10, 2007, "Nicolas Sarkozy Officially Proclaimed French President"; May 16, 2007, "Sarkozy Officially Sworn in as French President."


British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News Web site, (July 29, 2007), profile of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Embassy of France Web site, (July 29, 2007), biography of Nicolas Sarkozy.