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The American Enemy: The History of French Anti-Americanism

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< div> Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and& #8212; by extension& #8212; humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel, but the five-foot-tall Buffon remained unimpressed and refused to change his views on America's inferiority.< br> < br> Buffon, as Philippe Roger demonstrates here, was just one of the first in a long line of Frenchmen who have built a history of anti-Americanism in that country, a progressive history that is alternately ludicrous and trenchant. < i> The American Enemy< /i> is Roger's bestselling and widely acclaimed history of French anti-Americanism, presented here in English translation for the first time. < br> < br> With elegance and good humor, Roger goes back 200 years to unearth the deep roots of this anti-Americanism and trace its changing nature, from the belittling, as Buffon did, of the savage American to France's resigned dependency on America for goods and commerce and finally to the fear of America's global domination in light of France's thwarted imperial ambitions. Roger sees French anti-Americanism as barely acquainted with actual fact; rather, anti-Americanism is a cultural pillar for the French, America an idea that the country and its culture have long defined themselves against. < br> < br> Sharon Bowman's fine translation of this magisterial work brings Frenchanti-Americanism into the broad light of day, offering fascinating reading for Americans who care about our image abroad and how it came about. < br> < br> < div> & #8220; Mr. Roger almost single-handedly creates a new field of study, tracing the nuances and imagery of anti-Americanism in France over 250 years. He shows that far from being a specific reaction to recent American policies, it has been knit into the very substance of French intellectual and cultural life. . . . His book stuns with its accumulated detail and analysis.& #8221; & #8212; Edward Rothstein, < i> New York< /i> < i> T i m e s & l t; / i & g t; & l t; b r & g t; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & a m p; n b s p; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; < br> & #8220; A brilliant and exhaustive guide to the history of French Ameriphobia.& #8221; & #8212; Simon Schama, < i> NewYorker < br> < br> < /i> < /div> < /div>

Synopsis:

Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and&#8212;by extension&#8212;humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel, but the five-foot-tall Buffon remained unimpressed and refused to change his views on America's inferiority.

Buffon, as Philippe Roger demonstrates here, was just one of the first in a long line of Frenchmen who have built a history of anti-Americanism in that country, a progressive history that is alternately ludicrous and trenchant. The American Enemy is Roger's bestselling and widely acclaimed history of French anti-Americanism, presented here in English translation for the first time.

With elegance and good humor, Roger goes back 200 years to unearth the deep roots of this anti-Americanism and trace its changing nature, from the belittling, as Buffon did, of the "savage American" to France's resigned dependency on America for goods and commerce and finally to the fear of America's global domination in light of France's thwarted imperial ambitions. Roger sees French anti-Americanism as barely acquainted with actual fact; rather, anti-Americanism is a cultural pillar for the French, America an idea that the country and its culture have long defined themselves against.

Sharon Bowman's fine translation of this magisterial work brings French anti-Americanism into the broad light of day, offering fascinating reading for Americans who care about our image abroad and how it came about.

“Mr. Roger almost single-handedly creates a new field of study, tracing the nuances and imagery of anti-Americanism in France over 250 years. He shows that far from being a specific reaction to recent American policies, it has been knit into the very substance of French intellectual and cultural life. . . . His book stuns with its accumulated detail and analysis.”&#8212;Edward Rothstein, New York Times

                                                                                            

“A brilliant and exhaustive guide to the history of French Ameriphobia.”&#8212;Simon Schama, New Yorker

About the Author

Philippe Roger is professor at l'&Eacute;cole des hautes &eacute;tudes en sciences sociales in Paris, editor-in-chief of Critique, the author of numerous books on French history and culture, and a member of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique. Sharon Bowman was awarded the Prix Amic de Soutien &agrave; la Cr&eacute;ation Litt&eacute;raire by the Acad&eacute;mie Fran&ccedil;aise in 2002.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Prologue

Part I - The Irresistible Rise of the Yankee

1. The Age of Contempt

2. The Divided States of America

3. Lady Liberty and the Iconoclasts

4. From Havana to Manila: An American World?

5. Yankees and Anglo-Saxons

6. Portraits of Races

7. "People of Enemy Blood"

8. The Empire of Trusts: Socialism or Feudalism?

Part II - A Preordained Notion

9. The Other Maginot Line

10. Facing the Decline: Gallic Hideout or European Buffer Zone?

11. From Debt to Dependency: The Perrichon Complex

12. Metropolis, Cosmopolis: In Defense of Frenchness

13. Defense of Man: Anti-Americanism Is a Humanism

14. Insurrection of the Mind, Struggle for Culture, Defense of the Intelligentsia

Conclusion

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226723693
Author:
Roger, Philippe
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Translator:
Bowman, Sharon
Author:
Bowman, Sharon
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
World History-France
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20061131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
536
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

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Product details 536 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226723693 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and&#8212;by extension&#8212;humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel, but the five-foot-tall Buffon remained unimpressed and refused to change his views on America's inferiority.

Buffon, as Philippe Roger demonstrates here, was just one of the first in a long line of Frenchmen who have built a history of anti-Americanism in that country, a progressive history that is alternately ludicrous and trenchant. The American Enemy is Roger's bestselling and widely acclaimed history of French anti-Americanism, presented here in English translation for the first time.

With elegance and good humor, Roger goes back 200 years to unearth the deep roots of this anti-Americanism and trace its changing nature, from the belittling, as Buffon did, of the "savage American" to France's resigned dependency on America for goods and commerce and finally to the fear of America's global domination in light of France's thwarted imperial ambitions. Roger sees French anti-Americanism as barely acquainted with actual fact; rather, anti-Americanism is a cultural pillar for the French, America an idea that the country and its culture have long defined themselves against.

Sharon Bowman's fine translation of this magisterial work brings French anti-Americanism into the broad light of day, offering fascinating reading for Americans who care about our image abroad and how it came about.

“Mr. Roger almost single-handedly creates a new field of study, tracing the nuances and imagery of anti-Americanism in France over 250 years. He shows that far from being a specific reaction to recent American policies, it has been knit into the very substance of French intellectual and cultural life. . . . His book stuns with its accumulated detail and analysis.”&#8212;Edward Rothstein, New York Times

                                                                                            

“A brilliant and exhaustive guide to the history of French Ameriphobia.”&#8212;Simon Schama, New Yorker

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