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The Arrogance of the French: Why They Can't…

The Arrogance of the French: Why They Can't Stand Us—and Why the Feeling…

by Richard Chesnoff

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American journalist Chesnoff has lived and worked in France for twenty years. This book is about the history and politics of France, especially as it concerns the U.S. Chesnoff details the three hundred year old relationship between France, Britain and the U.S., from the Revolution up to the time that sparked this book, France's refusal to back the U.S. in the Middle East. He details the decades of France's sales of arms and nuclear equipment to dictators such as Saddam Hussein and finishes with a list of French owned companies, some that surprised me (the Jerry Springer show?) just in case you wanted to boycott them.
He also goes into the French education system, and how it results in the attitude referred to in the title.

Though some aspects of this book were out of date quickly after it's 2005 publication, due to the French elections, the history lesson is thorough and Chesnoff gives plenty of his personal experiences in what it's actually like to be an American Jewish man living in a small French village.
If you adore A Year in Provence or are a hardcore Francophile, you might want to stay away from this book, as it paints a very different picture. ( )
1 vote mstrust | Nov 17, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159523022X, Paperback)

Arrogance, snootiness, back-stabbing, and disdain. To paraphrase DeGaulle, what else would you expect from a country with 246 varieties of cheese?

The French have given Americans a harder time on the international stage than anyone else. Driven by their own self-importance, and their frustration at no longer being a superpower, the French talk down to us with galling self-righteousness. They hate our movies, our tourists, our food, and especially our politicians.

But as Richard Chesnoff points out, the love/hate relationship between France and America didn’t start with the election of George W.Bush, or even Ronald Reagan. It goes all the way back to the days of the Benjamin Franklin and that uppity Rene Descartes. (Never trust a man named Rene.) And compared to Charles DeGaulle, Jacques Chirac is a piece of cake to work with.

France’s attitude has always been a problem, explains Chesnoff, who has lived in France for the past twenty years while writing for major American magazines and newspapers. He explains how the French really think and what drives their jealousy and arrogance. His maddening experiences while living among the French will raise your blood pressure, make you laugh, and give you plenty of reasons to jeer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:06 -0400)

A humorous exploration of the sometimes fractious relationship between American and French citizens identifies the cultural beliefs and historical events that have spurred contempt between the two nations.

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