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Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French
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Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Coca-Cola ran headlong into French culture when a hardcore, bottom-line management style met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. Even Mickey Mouse met angry protesters hurling tomatoes and eggs when joining Michael Eisner to launch Euro Disney's arrival on the Paris stock market. What makes the French so...well, French? ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing
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Darya Conmigo
A curious read, mostly written for expats working in an international company. A good look not only at the French culture, but also at the American culture through the prism of French values. It's what I always liked about anthropology and works close to it: by discovering different ways of seeing the world, you quickly discover that you also think of the world in particular ways based on your culture and, ultimately, might even start to question it.

A really good read for anyone who wants to und
Keith Lawrence
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great help to me as an American visiting Paris for the first time. It made me mindful of being respectful as a foreigner and I was treated well because of it. It was fascinating to see the change in the people of Paris from day to night, or from work time to play time. They are so passionate about being with their friends. Amazing. Anyway, the book was a great help in navigating the people on my little trip. It was easy and fun and informative.
Lisa Ebert
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read. My French and American friends loved hearing my book quotes during our quarantine FaceTime sessions. Having moved to Montreal from Hamburg many years ago, I wish there was a German Canadian equivalent.
Jade Liu
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting perspective on the differences between French and American culture. This book is intended for potential expats in managerial positions and goes into a lot of detail about business management practices in intercultural situations. It encourages individuals to shed one's preexisting world views and be receptive to other ways of thinking. Doing so, the authors emphasize, does not necessitate assimilation but rather understanding and collaboration. As a Chinese-American spending my secon ...more
I know this is supposed to be a book about French culture, but I learned a lot about American culture from reading this. How typically self-centered American of me, I suppose.
The book is aimed towards explaining French culture for the purpose of business relations and from a cross-cultural view with that of Americans. I am far from qualified to say whether or not the descriptions of the French were accurate, I'm sure there are lots of generalizations in this text about the French (just as there
Jeff Waters
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an eye-opener. It explains a lot of my experiences doing business with customers and colleagues in France over the years. Eastern Canada, too, now that I think of it.

I'm not saying that your mutual frustrations will disappear overnight, but will certainly be cut by 50% in the short term.

If you are French interacting with Americans or Americans interacting with the French, you must read this book.

Take off your blue colored glasses before putting on your counterpart's yellow colored glass
Megan Plaumann
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Really learned a lot about American culture as well as French culture. It was fascinating to learn why the French are French. Especially how Americans grow up believing French are this way and that way and never really knowing why..well this book explained why the French are French in the best way! Though the second part of the book is directed more towards a company who is working with French people, it was still very ineteresting.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you're thinking of moving to France, read this book first. It probably won't change your mind, but it can give you some insight as to what to expect. Written in a way that's easy to follow and understand even though some information heavy topics are covered. ...more
Scott Cameron
Lots of good information here and its very well-written and organized, but it tries a little bit too hard to be complete and it becomes a little bit dry. It also felt very targeted at people with a severe American-centric world view. They really chew up every difference for you.
Jennifer Tomaloff
May 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the required text for my French class. This book is terribly inconsistent and repetitive. The generalizations are enough to make a person crazy.
Feb 27, 2016 marked it as to-read
Recommended by Derek Sivers, along with "A Geek In Japan" ...more
As many times as I've traveled to France, there is still more to learn. A bit dry. ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I didn't finish this book, but the third that I read was interesting! I definitely learned some interesting cultural differences that helped me on my trip to Paris! ...more
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