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IHEDN: our history

"To arms, citizens! "

Since 1936, the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale (IHEDN) has been bringing this appeal to life among France's elite. Leaders from the civil service and the business world share training with future military leaders.

Together, they think about defence. Together, they have been developing, over several decades and through national and regional sessions, a "unity of feeling, thought and doctrine" which is a prerequisite for effective action.

This book presents the little-known history of this invisible dimension of our defence. The brainchild of General Patrick Destremau, Director of the IHEDN between 2018 and 2021, it was produced by two historians of political and military issues, Philippe Vial and Guillaume Denglos. Based on largely unpublished archives and iconography, it covers more than a century of national history.

We meet Charles de Gaulle, Marshal Foch and General Massu. We discover an unexpected continuity from Léon Gambetta to Charles Hernu and Pierre Mauroy. We meet Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Jacques Chirac, François Mitterrand and Georges Marchais, as well as Winston Churchill, John Kennedy and Deng Xiaoping.

Lieutenant General Benoît Durieux, Director of the IHEDN.

This book is part of the dynamic sought by the IHEDN, offering a striking image of the singularity, importance and evolution of national defence issues. It is a must for the Institute's management, future students and, more broadly, all those who want to bring the Republic to life and who love our country.

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Rights available abroad

Publisher: Tallandier
Director of the book : Guillaume DENGLOS, Philippe VIAL
Language : French
Published by : 4 November 2021
Pagination : 208 pages
ISBN :  9791021049017

the authors

Philippe VIAL

is a lecturer in contemporary history at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is on secondment to the Directorate of Higher Military Education, where he is academic adviser to the Centre for Advanced Military Studies. A former auditor at the 66th national session on defence policy (2013-2014), he is a regular speaker at the IHEDN on political and military issues.

Guillaume DENGLOS

holds a doctorate in contemporary history from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. After working as a history officer for the General Secretariat for Defence and National Security, he took on this role for the IHEDN.