Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong
-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
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
So far, I've only completed this volume. I found it useful and int ...more
This book however is not great. It starts strong but eventually becomes more like a textbook. The personal anecdotes and biographical sketches are great; numbing detail about things like the civil code le ...more
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
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.
Le plus j'avance dans ma lecture, le plus je me pose des questions.
L'écriture de Jean-Benoît Nadeau et Juli ...more
The underlying thesis of t ...more
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
The only disconcerting issue I found is the authors sometimes use -- in English -- French words that wouldn't be familiar to many Americans. For example, the French "mandat" is equivalent to our "administration" when talking abo ...more
Those quib ...more
Very interesting to learn, for instance, that police are all federal, i.e. there are no local police departments. So police see it as below their stature to ticket people for dog poop on sidewalks..
Also new French citizens are required to fully assimilate into the culture. So in their census they take note of no race, ethnicity, etc. All are simply French.
If you’re going to France — by all means re ...more