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The Personal in the Political Biography

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Chapter Summary

The phrase 'political biography' is generally intended to designate the biography of a politician. He or she is a star, loved and admired, while the politician is in the best case a hard-working, reliable servant. The French philosopher Henri Bergson begins by saying that it would be unnecessary to involve his family in his biography, or even to mention them. Nevertheless, the politician can more effectively influence his biography posthumously with his legacy than by any other means. The personal as the motor of the political is something that one encounters, among other places, in the many biographies of Dutch people who collaborated with the Nazis during the World War II. The biographies of politicians in which much attention is given to the personal are generally also those which provide the deepest insights concerning their politics.

Keywords: Dutch people; Henri Bergson; Nazis; political biography; World War II

10.1163/9789004274709_018
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