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The Arrogance of the French: Why They Can't Stand Us — And Why the Feeling Is Mutualby Richard Chesnoff
Synopses & Reviews
Imagine the fun Mark Twain would have had with Franc‛s undeclared war on America. Tha‛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 Franc‛s blatant contempt for the United States.
And the feelin‛s mutual. Frustration with the French in Middle America reached an all- time high when we learned of Franc‛s apparent complicity with Saddam Hussei‛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 did‛t have such an (unrequited) love affair with French food, fashion, and springtime in Paris, w‛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 Americ‛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.
"Pitched somewhere between just kidding and deeply affronted, this book from the veteran U.S. News Paris correspondent (and now contributing editor) systematically airs most of the complaints on both sides of the Franco-American equation, but with an exasperated jingoism that makes clear on every page where his loyalties lie. That heightened tone is part of the point, mirroring the heated, and mostly empty, rhetoric he finds has been bridging the Atlantic for the past 300 years. But Chesnoff's pro-U.S. J'accuse has a set of specific charges that include weakness during WWII, wrongness on Israel, collusion with terror from the 1960s on and oil deals with Saddam that, he says, drove recent French policy on Iraq. Threaded throughout his familiar and very broad stroke macropolitical analyses are micropolitical ones, as Chesnoff goes into great detail, for example, about the mechanics of his rural neighbor's concerted dislike of him (wryly noting that 'it probably didn't help that I was a J-E-W'). The result is a kind of slapdash anti-A Year in Provence, drawing on a lifetime's anecdotes of étranger insult with a variety of untempered history lessons thrown in." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Anyone who knows France will recognize this as a half-cooked canard. Anyone who wants to know about what distinguishes France from the U.S. can read Raymonde Carroll's infinitely superior Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experiene..." Kirkus Reviews
"This book will open your eyes!" Sean Hannity
"Why do the French hate America? Richard Chesnoff has figured it out and informs us with entertaining clarity." Bill O'Reilly
"France sucks, but this book doesn't." Dennis Miller
"Americans — and the French — will learn a lot from this book." Michael Barone, Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
"Richard Z. Chesnoff insightfully — and entertainingly — explores America's most dysfunctional relationship with America's least reliable ally." Clifford D. May, President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
An amusing look at America's oldest love-hate relationship.
Imagine the fun Mark Twain would have had with France's undeclared war on America. That's the kind of humorous insight that journalist Chesnoff delivers in this amusing look at America's oldest love-hate relationship.
About the Author
Richard Z. Chesnoff is a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report and a columnist for the New York Daily News. A former Paris-based correspondent for Newsweek and U.S. News and the winner of numerous journalism awards, he divides his time between southern France and New York.
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