The Arrogance of the French

The Arrogance of the French

Why They Can't Stand Us, and Why the Feeling Is Mutual

Book - 2005
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Imagine the fun Mark Twain would have had with France’s undeclared war on America. That’s the kind of humorous insight that journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff delivers in this book. Living among the French in a tiny farming village, Chesnoff vividly dissects the national arrogance, snobbery, and superiority that fuel France’s blatant contempt for the United States.

And the feeling’s mutual. Frustration with the French in Middle America reached an all- time high when we learned of France’s apparent complicity with Saddam Hussein’s regime. “Freedom fries,” boycotts of French wine, and mockery of all things French have become part of the current political dialogue.

But as Chesnoff points out, Franco-American rancor is centuries old, and our current disgust with the French dates back to at least the 1980s, when they refused to let the United States use their air space on the way to bomb Libya. “Are they our allies or not?” we wondered. If Americans didn’t have such an (unrequited) love affair with French food, fashion, and springtime in Paris, we’d be asking, “With friends like that... ?”

Chesnoff offers witty commentaries on the French way of life and why the two countries find each other so exasperating. Are they really just jealous that we replaced them as a global superpower? Have they forgotten America’s sacrifice for France in World Wars I and II? Do they have a right to be haughty when their cuisine, fashion, art, and universities are losing ground to other centers of culture?

This will be the perfect book for anyone who has ever wondered how a beautiful love affair between two countries could go so wrong.

Publisher: New York : Sentinel, 2005.
ISBN: 9781595230102
Branch Call Number: 327.4407 CHESNOF
Characteristics: xvii, 187 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


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