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Jean Lacouture began his career in journalism in 1950 in Combat as diplomatic redactor. He joined Le Monde in 1951. In 1953, he worked in Cairo for France Soir, before returning to Le Monde as director for the overseas services, and grand reporter (the highest title in French journalism) until 1975.
Politically engaged on the Left, Lacouture supported decolonisation, and Mitterrand from 1981. He worked for the Nouvel Observateur, and L'Histoire. He is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film about the Vietnam War entitled In the Year of the Pig.
Lacouture was also director for publication at Seuil, one of the main French publishers, from 1961 to 1982, and professor at the IEP of Paris between 1969 and 1972.
He is mainly known to the public because of his biographies, including the lives of Ho Chi Minh, Nasser, Léon Blum, De Gaulle, François Mauriac, Pierre Mendès-France, Mitterrand, Montesquieu, Montaigne, Malraux, Germaine Tillion, Champollion, Rivière, Stendhal and Kennedy.
A dedicated music lover, Lacouture is also president of a society of devotees of Georges Bizet.
- Jesuits: A Multibiography ISBN 1-887178-60-0
- De Gaulle
- Robert Capa ISBN 0-679-72336-6
- Ho Chi Minh: A Political Biography. ISBN 0-394-70215-8
- Vietnam: Between two truces ASIN B0006D759K
- Montaigne à Cavalo ISBN 85-01-04759-7
- Pierre Mendes France ISBN 0-8419-0856-7
- The demigods: Charismatic leadership in the third world ISBN 0-394-42194-9
- Nasser: A biography ISBN 0-394-46625-X
- Léon Blum ISBN 0-8419-0776-5
- J.F. Kennedy ISBN 2-09-754229-8
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