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ฝรั่งเศส ฝรั่งแสบ : Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong
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ฝรั่งเศส ฝรั่งแสบ : Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,662 ratings  ·  180 reviews
เรืองจริงสุดแสบคลาสสิกเจาะลึกถึงรากเหงาและทุกอณูขุมขนของคนฝรังเศส เจาของประเทศทีคนทำงานแคสามสิบหาชัวโมงตอสัปดาห แตคาแรงชดเชยวันหยุดปีละเจดสัปดาห มีเวลาพักรับประทานอาหารกลางวันหนึงชัวโมงครึง ประเทศทีขาราชการไมคอยสุภาพ ใหบริการประชาชนดวยสไตลสุดเยอหยิงจองหอง ชนชาติทีสูบบุหรีจัด ดืมเหลาตางนำ แตอายุขัยเฉลียยืนยาวทีสุดประเทศหนึงของโลก ฯลฯ ...more
489 pages
Published 2009 by Freeform (first published May 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessica Howard
60 Million Frenchman is split into three sections (1) French history (why certain events helped make the French the way they are). (2) French system (detailed analysis of almost every aspect of current--as of 2000--French life). (3) Projections for the future.

I liked part one a lot. I think the chapters on the Algerian War and World War Two were particularly apt in explaining how the French mindset has been shaped in recent decades. Part two was good in spots, and reeeeally boring in spots. For
...more
Louise
Apr 21, 2008 Louise rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles or wanna bes
True story: I love France. And sometimes really can't stand the French. Thankfully, the authors of this book kinda feel the same way. This book is a wonderful dissection of why the French are who they are and why we love them and are confused by them on a regular basis. The authors have done an excellent job of getting at the heart of what makes French government, culture and economics tick and really pinpoints the differences between France and other countries. I would have liked more compariso ...more
Helynne
As indicated by the title, this 2003 study, written by Canandians Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow, attempts to explain why French and American people like to disparage each other and how we Americans especially tend to be irrationally prejudiced against the French. David Lettermen is still making jokes about the French giving into the Nazis in 1940, and Groundskeeper Willie on The Simpsons has our young people calling the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys." We seem to forget that the ...more
Atenea-Nike
May 02, 2010 Atenea-Nike rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Atenea-Nike by: dad
Shelves: abandoned
So far, the book is proving to offer interesting insight in the mind of the north americans, not the french. I know the french. We're neighbours. I go there often. A couple of my best friends are french. France makes sense to me. The french make sense to me. The book, therefore, is for me an experience in reverse psychology - undestanding the mindset the authors come from that makes them write the way they do about the french. The things that surprise them or that they deem worthy of writing abo ...more
Suzanne
This book is a detailed study of the French as products of their history and culture. Although claiming not to be a history book, it uses French history to explain how the French spirit developed, and how it influences the civil, political, and social structure in France today. As the authors, two bilingual Canadian journalists, claim in their introduction, it is not a story of the renovation of a house in Provence; it does, however, contain the story of their two years in France and what they e ...more
Richard
Definitely not light reading -- this isn't a trivial book, despite the humorous title and cover.

Felt like I was back in one of my International Relations classes, probably upper division if not graduate. Very informative, and worth reading -- especially for anyone planning on spending time in France.
Jo Haff
Je comptais lire ce pavé, en me disant qu'en tant qu'étrangère vivant en France, j'aurais sûrement les mêmes points de vue que ce couple de journalistes en débarquant dans l'Hexagone. Ils font la comparaison entre le modèle français et le modèle nord-américain (États-Unis et Canada), montrant clairement les paradoxes français. Leur question de base était: what makes the French so different?
Le plus j'avance dans ma lecture, le plus je me pose des questions.
L'écriture de Jean-Benoît Nadeau et Juli
...more
Adamcikb
I read this as part of a trilogy I've tackled by expatriate observers who have lived in France. The others are "A Year in the Merde" and "A Year in Provence." It's really just an exercise in self-discipline. Having been in France for over a year now, I hear myself being critical from merely anecdotal evidence, and I don't like it. So I decided I should see how other observers have found France and see in my observations match up.

So far, I've only completed this volume. I found it useful and int
...more
Stephen
France stymies Americans. They eat what they want, but seemingly don't get fat. Their government is happily involved in health, education, industry, and business, but they have one of the most robust economies in the world. How do they do it? What makes them tick? Jean-Benoît Nadreau and Julie Barlow were dispatched by a government foundation to find out just that very thing. Having lived in France for several years and made a study of it, they represent their findings in the fascinating Sixty M ...more
Wesley  Gerrard
Although this book was written over a decade ago, it is a great study of the French people that is still relevant today. It is an anthropological assessment and takes a broad stance in how it assesses France. The authors are a Canadian couple so many of the ideas and comparisons are taken from a North American standpoint. A two year study of the French yields many quaint anecdotes as to how and why the French are as they are. In my own experience of France, the French, French language, culture a ...more
Poussinette (Sophie)
I'll start with the good points :
The authors have really tried to understand how we French function as a society, and to find explanations for it in our (very bloody) history. They did get a few very clever insights, and made me smile a few times in self deprecation.

Now the bad points : the book is presented as a pseudo scientific study. Unfortunately, the scientific demarch is hopelessly flawed.
Once the authors got a working theory, they twisted all their "evidence" to fit the pattern, disregar
...more
Vincent
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong often times feels like a Francenstein’s (spelling deliberate) monster. It begins well enough, offering insight into the “spirit” of French society, and indeed gives highly valuable information, especially regarding the French ideas of personal vs. public space, which every visitor should know. However, as the reader nears the middle of the book the work takes on a text-book quality, which becomes dry and redundant. To boost, what the writers pass as an anth ...more
Vanessa
Jun 30, 2010 Vanessa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: francophiles, francophobes, americans, british
Recommended to Vanessa by: JF
a lucid breakdown of the French and their society. i've just moved to France so i hope the information will turn out to be accurate and useful - so far, one Frenchman told my partner 'everything in the book is true!' and two others told me, with respect to the authors' (why isn't Julie Barlow credited as co-author in the GoodReads entry?) discussion of the French love of privacy, that it's actually perfectly okay to ask a new acquaintance what their name is or what they do for a living, contrary ...more
Jennifer Parks
Nadeau & Barlow (two Canadians from Quebec) wrote this non-fiction book on French culture and government as an expose of the differences between North American and French mindsets. The book offers really compelling evidence for why the French think the way they do and have organized their society and government the way they have. It was a fascinating read and I really think it is a valuable book regardless of your current perspective on the French and their culture.

The underlying thesis of t
...more
Alissa
Nadeau & Barlow give an insightful view of French culture, from an insider and outsider perspective. France is a tough nut to crack but their reportage is authentic (according to my numerous French friends, one loaned me his copy to read) and I concur with the authors on the few elements I am familiar enough with have something to say about.

France is a fascinating country. It is modern and familiar on some levels and can be totally different and unique in its organization, tradition and etho
...more
Jennifer Brown
At first glance it seems like this book would be a lighthearted, humorous look at cultural differences between France and it’s peers, an informal look at French idiosyncrasies we love and hate. In fact it is an in depth study (at one point sponsored by the Institute of Current World Affairs) of the entrenchment of French beliefs, values, and behavior based upon factors like the authoritarian centralized power of the French State, the effect of the War of Algiers on the French psyche, and the Fre ...more
Tara
I was expecting more of a "The French do this/The Americans do that" type of book, but this is actually a really good systematic primer into understanding the French--their ideas of The State, their concerns with federalism, language, education, political system and the elite. I feel I probably was supposed to have learned some of this "French culture" stuff in French class, but it flew by me. Definitely worth a read if you want to gain an objective insight into understanding the French.
Mary Gorden
Feb 25, 2015 Mary Gorden rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People moving to France
Recommended to Mary by: reviewers
Shelves: france-expats
The authors of this book did their homework. They lived the life of Parisians. They combined exceptional research with excellent writing to offer a thorough introduction to French history and culture, the government state, the effect of wars on French mentality, the education system, the elite class, reasons why Americans might view the French as "snobs" and what matters most to the French. I usually read "best sellers" about places that I want to visit. While I am glad that I read this book, I ...more
Christopher
I was hoping I had found a book that was an in depth look at the culture and traditions of the French. This was more of a look at the government and political structures of France. Parts were so boring, I actually wound up just skimming the last bit of the book for something interesting to read.
Michael
This book was a useful (if overly detailed) companion for my first trip to France in decades. The authors are Quebecoise sociologists who went to France to write one book and came back with another. Fascinated by the idiosyncracies of French culture, they write about social mores, the educational system, politics, immigration, race, the French economy, and the dark psychological after effects of World War II and the Algerian conflict.

Sloppiness is a weakness. At one point the authors contend th
...more
Melissa
This book was so poorly written and had so many grammatical errors that I couldn't read it.
Kai Hodge
The book started off very interesting as the author discussed how the French language evolved from different provincial dialects to the French we hear today.

The first chapters went in on how the French value and insist on state service since their taxes are so high. I was in utter disbelief when I read that Paris is littered with dog poop since the French refuse to clean up after their pets, they insist that the government must do it!

The elite ENA institution in France sets the tone on how Fre
...more
BooksAndTea
Not quite what I expected, although not necessarily a bad thing. I found this in the travel section and I expected it to be more of a memoir of travels in France, rather than a semi history/social commentary book. The authors spent a couple years of France and instead dedicate the book explaining France's history, various aspects of their culture and government, etc. Sometimes it was really interesting to read, other times it tended to drag on and on. At other times the text would read fairly li ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
When I first saw how thick and dense the book was, I thought it would take me a few weeks to read it but I was instantly captivated and actually finished it in just a few days! The book is surprisingly entertaining, considering it's a compendium of history, geography, politics, ethnology, etc...

The book offers a very acute and insightful analysis of France, the French and the way our country works. I learned quite a few things and actually had a few "aha!" moments when I thought "why did I never
...more
Justin
I started this a little while before I went to France, and intended to finish it while I was over there, but I just can't stand to read it anymore.

The book was published around the time France adopted the Euro; so while it's not completely out of date, it's far from being current. More than that, though, I found many of the authors' opinions about contemporary France to be contradictory to what I observed while I was there. That alone made everything I read suspect, and I no longer had much of
...more
Papalodge

Wall Street Journal - Sixty Million does its job marvelouly well.

After reading it, you may still think the French are arrogant, aloof and high-handed, but you will know why.

An articulate journey into the French heart, mind and soul. Decrypting French ideas about land, food, privacy and language.
Delving into the components of French society from centralizatiion and the Napoleonic Code to elite education and street protest giving a complete picture of the French.

They smoke, drink and eat more fat
...more
E
More contemplative than a travel book and more interesting than an academic text, it offers fair, history-laden insights into modern France. The husband-and-wife team of authors write from a Canadian (French and Anglo) perspective, which offers an awareness of France's particularly European qualities while avoiding the habit shared by Americans and Brits of needing to take every possibile opportunity to insult the country and prove it wrong. Indeed, while vigilant in identifying the nation's les ...more
Cristine
Interesting book about the French and France. Mixes history, emerging governmental developments and basic culture to explain "why do the French act...well, French." I read this book sporadically, picking it up and putting it down sometimes for long periods of time--because of this, I read part of the book before I moved to France and then the rest while living in France. The book is about 10 years old now, so some of the changes in French culture, politics and business is not really reflected--h ...more
Ibrahim Al-bluwi
This book taught me about France and the French more than what I have learned during the 15 months I have already spent there. I found it enjoyable and informative at the same time. It explained to me many things that I was wondering about.

Now I understand better things like: the educational system and the Grandes écoles, the political system and how it differs from the American system, the status of north africans in France, why Hijab is forbidden at schools, why we can't have a prayer room in
...more
Serena
I am only on chapter 3, but so far finding that it offers interesting insights.

I understand from reading other reviews that there are some glaring mistakes (most noted being that Norway is not part of the European Union as they assert at some point I've either missed or haven't reached yet).
In any case, I don't really care if the statistics or geography are off much as it's more an explanation of culture that I'm looking for.

When Mum and I went before, we had a meal in a nice restaurant. I or
...more
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Author, journalist and conference speaker, Jean-Benoît Nadeau has published seven books, over 900 magazine articles, won over 40 awards in journalism and literature, and given more than 80 lectures on language, culture and writing. His books include Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong, The Story of French and The Story of Spanish, which he co-authored with his wife, Julie Barlow. He currently r ...more
More about Jean-Benoît Nadeau...
The Story of French The Story of Spanish Les Français aussi ont un accent Écrire pour vivre Le guide du travailleur autonome

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“France has and will have political and economic problems like any other country. But it works. What makes it work is the harmony between the spirit of the French and the structures they have given themselves, structures that are genuinely theirs.” 1 likes
“France actually had the first ever pension schemes: the Invalides, a hostel built by Louis XIV and his prime minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–83), for disabled soldiers.” 1 likes
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