Near the end of his second term as president of France, François Mitterrand decided to talk openly about his life, both personal and political. President for fourteen years, longer than anyone else in the history of the French Republic, Mitterrand was interested not in constructing an elaborate memorial to himself in words but in leaving behind a living testament. He therefore turned to someone whom he knew and trusted, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, a close friend of many years, to join him in a vibrant, vigorous exchange.
The topics they discuss in these pages are childhood, faith, war, power, writing, and those moments––however and whenever they arrive––that shape and sometimes define us as people. Mitterrand and Wiesel's dialogue is spontaneous, thoughtful, lyrical, blunt, far-reaching, and candid, whether it involves controversial moments in Mitterrand's political career, Wiesel's memories of Auschwitz, the importance of family and religion in their lives, or simply their favorite books and walks. Here is an unobstructed view into the lives and times of two of the greatest figures of conscience of our century, an inspiring memoir in two voices.