Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Charles de Gaulle, fully Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle

French General and Statesman, led Free French Forces during World War II, founded the French Fifth Republic and served as its first President

"Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself."

"Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown."

"The man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can realize his potentialities."

"Nothing enhances authority better than silence."

"Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him."

"Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last."

"Silence is the ultimate weapon of power."

"One cannot govern with “buts.” "

"The task of the leader is always to weigh up the circumstances, to make decisions and to give orders and then, once the action has been launched, to reassess from time to time the system of the means at his disposal, which [is] continually being modified by circumstances."

"There can be no prestige without mystery, for familiarity breeds contempt. "

"[To reporters at beginning of news conference] I am ready for the questions to my answers. "

"[Force] is the prerequisite of movement and the midwife of progress. "