He became a member of the Académie française in 1977.
Outside France he is probably best known for his book Le Mal Français (translated as The Trouble with France), which addresses the question of whether there is something unique to the French character that has caused some of the country's peculiar recurring problems. The book places his own observations and experiences as a journalist and government minister inside a panoramic view of French and European history from the medieval to the modern era.
Upon his death in 1999 he was honored by burial in Les Invalides which also houses the tomb of Napoleon and other revered national leaders.
Secretary of State for Information : April–September 1962.
Minister of Returnees : September–November 1962.
Minister of Information : 1962–1966.
Minister of Scientific Research and Atomic Questions and Space : 1966–1967.
Minister of Education : 1967–1968.
Minister for Administrative Reforms : 1973–1974.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and the Environment : March–May 1974.
Keeper of the seals, Minister of Justice : 1977–1981.
National Assembly of France
Member of the National Assembly of France for Seine-et-Marne : 1958–1962 (Became secretary of State in 1962) / Reelected in 1967, but he stays minister / 1968–1973 (Became minister in 1973) / 1974–1977 (Became minister in 1977) / Reelected in 1978, but he stays minister / 1981–1995 (Became senator in 1995). Elected in 1958, reelected in 1962, 1967, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1993.
Senate of France
Senator of Seine-et-Marne : 1995–1999 (He died in 1999). Elected in 1995.
Vice-president of the General council of Seine-et-Marne : 1982–1988.
General councillor of Seine-et-Marne : 1964–1988. Reelected in 1970, 1976, 1982.
Mayor of Provins : 1965–1997 (Resignation in 1997). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995.
Municipal councillor of Provins : 1965–1999 (He died in 1999). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995.
- Alain Peyrefitte (1993) The collision of two civilisations: the British expedition to China in 1792-4, London: Harvill, ISBN 0-00-272677-7
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