Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French
Jean-Benoit Nadeau, Julie Barlow
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-Smoke, drink and eat more fat than anyone in the world, yet live longer and have fewer heart problems than Americans
-Work 35-hour weeks, and take seven weeks of paid holidays per year, but are still the world's fourth-biggest economic power
So what makes the French so different?
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. Decrypting French ideas about land, privacy and language, Nadeau and Barlow weave together the threads of French society--from centralization and the Napoleonic Code to elite education and even street protests--giving us, for the first time, a complete picture of the French.
"[A] readable and insightful piece of work." --Montreal Mirror
"In an era of irrational reactions to all things French, here is an eminently rational answer to the question, 'Why are the French like that?'" --Library Journal
"A must-read." --Edmonton Journal
want to interrupt their TV show to check the weather?” he said. “Besides, a TV was six thousand francs then, and not many French households had TVs.” Prestel was too rigid for Théry’s taste: its remote control could only scroll preset pages. True telematics, in his view, required a real keyboard that could start a word search in a database and show the results, but would remain as simple, reliable, and affordable as a telephone. “We needed a machine that cost as little as six hundred francs
provide. The opposite conditions in France seem to have created the opposite result. France’s land is rich and varied. And if anything, that has pushed them to constantly look inward. Nature has blessed France with a combination of physical characteristics that gave it a natural head start when it comes to gastronomy. The first is a moderate climate. France isn’t quite as big as Texas, and it enjoys about the same climate. The only instances of cold, even polar, weather are found in the south,
France’s tendency to posture on the international stage—both were definitely elements of de Gaulle’s legacy. But to the French, de Gaulle is the man who restored their nation’s grandeur after the country was humiliated and almost torn apart by civil war during and after World War II. To a large extent, de Gaulle created modern France by single-handedly imposing a reform of democratic institutions after World War II, and again during the War of Algeria. De Gaulle’s story started when Germany
over the last five centuries. In the eighteenth century, the universities were producing armies of theologians and jurists, many of who had simply bought their diploma. During the eighteenth century, the French government realized that this situation would lead to ruin in France, so it started creating the grandes écoles. France was the biggest country of Western Europe at the time in both territory and population. To deal with the budding industrial revolution, France needed more encadrement
we aren’t suggesting it is permanent or unchanging. We’re just calling attention to the fact that old mentalities persist within new customs. The globalizers of the world would do well to remember this. On Halloween of 1999, sitting in a café overlooking the port of Honfleur, in Normandy, we had this thought as we watched a bizarre exercise of cultural cross-fertilization unfold before our eyes. Halloween is only a few years old in France. It’s not an easy custom to adapt, partly because French