Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong

ISBN: 9781402200458

By: Jean NadeauJulie Barlow

Published: 05/01/2003

"Sixty Million Frenchmen does its job marvelously well. After reading it, you may still think the French are arrogant, aloof, and high-handed, but you will know why."
--Wall Street Journal

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The French... -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

About the Author

Julie Barlow

Canadian journalists Jean-Benoit Nadeau an Julie Barlow have spent the last decade working extensively in both their country's official languages. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1964, Jean-Benoit Nadeau holds a bachelor's degree in political science and history from McGill University. A journalist since 1987, he has written for L'actualite, Saturday Night Magazine, National Post Business, and Quebec Science. The holder of seventeen journalism awards, he was granted a two-year fellowship in 1998 by the New Hampshire-based Institute for Current World Affairs to study why the French resist globalization. In 2001, he published a humorous travelogue, Les francais aussi ont un accent (Payon, Paris). He has also traveled in Mexico, the UK, New Zealand, and Algeria. Born in Ancaster, Ontario, in 1968, Julie Barlow holds an honour's degree in political science from McGill University and a master's in English Literature from Concordia University. Over the last decade, she has written for Saturday NIght Magazine, Report on Business Magazine, L'actualite, and other Canadian magazines. In 1998, she worked as Editor-in-Chief of English-language projects at Montreal-based publisher Ma Carriere. In 2003, she published Same Words, Different Language (Piatkus, London) with international gender expert Barbara Annis. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, Israel, Turkey, the Caucasus, Mexico, the UK, and New Zealand. The couple is now based in Montreal, where they are living happily in French and English while producing their next book, The Story of French.


Table of Contents


Part I: Spirit

Chapter 1: Meet the Aborigines
Chapter 2: The Land on Their Mutual Mind
Chapter 3: Private Space
Chapter 4: Grandeur Is Better
Chapter 5: The Art of Eloquence
Chapter 6: Until-the-Bitter-End-Ism
Chapter 7: World War II: The Unforgotten War
Chapter 8: Algeria: The Unacknowledged War

Part II: Structure

Chapter 9: The Penchant for Absolutism
Chapter 10: The State: One for All, and All for One
Chapter 11: Dogs, Towns, and Local Governemt
Chapter 12: Strong Language
Chapter 13: Elite Education
Chapter 14: The Enarchy
Chapter 15: In the Name of the Law
Chapter 16: Civil Society: Invisible Helping Hands
Chapter 17: The Choreography of Protest
Chapter 18: Redistributing Wealth
Chapter 19: Economic Interventionism: The State Will Do

Part III: Change

Chapter 20: The World According to France
Chapter 21: The French Melting Pot
Chapter 22: New Checks and Balances
Chapter 23: The Meaning of Europe

Appendix 1: France's Changing Regimes
Appendix 2: ENA Postings
About the Authors


Excerpt from Chapter 1: Meet the Aborigines

When we arrived in Paris at the beginning of Jean-Benoît's fellowship, it was only the second time we had set foot in France. We were tourists, and ...

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Format: Paperback

Length: 8 in
Width: 6 in
Weight: 18.00 oz
Page Count: 368 pages


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