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France on the Brink: A Great Civilization Faces a New Century

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Urgent and convincing, this work will inform even the most knowledgeable Francophile. Balanced and vividly written, France on the Brink isn't France bashing but an informed critique by a renowned journalist who deeply respects French culture and its achievements.
Paperback, 454 pages
Published July 14th 2000 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1998)
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3.68  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Pinko Palest
Jun 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
finger wagging at the French, by an english author. Basically, why the French should be more like the Brits, more thatcherite, or at least more blairite. Funnily enough, it is now the French who are being led by a President who is quite neoliberal, and are the ones who are lecturing the Brits. All in all, a massive disappointment
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Jonathan Fenby has covered France and its government and economy for fifty years. When the first edition of this book was released in 2000, it was a New York Times Book Of The Year. This second edition, written fourteen years later, updates the original book and looks at the current state of France.

Like many countries, France is struggling in the modern world with the globalization of economies. The number of individuals making their living on farms has decreased dramatically, and with that com
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
review and give away at:

France on the Brink by Jonathan Fenby was a fascinating read. Although I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about current events and political situations there were many interesting things that I did not know about France, french culture and french people. I found this book to be very interesting and very informative. It's 400 plus pages so there is a wealth of information. What distinguished this book for me was the authors voice through
Katie/Doing Dewey
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was concerned a book about politics and the economy would be boring, but decided to take a chance because I love nonfiction and books about France. The first chapter almost made me give up on the book, with a disorganized overview of the contents of the book and a laundry-list of the things which make France great. I stuck it out though and if you’re someone interested in learning about modern France, I’d highly recommend you do the same. The author has collected many great stories of both his ...more
Jun 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Long-time Economist and Times of London journalist Fenby, married to a Frenchwoman, spent many years prior to penning this tome of his studying and pondering all things culturally and politically French. And it clearly pays off.

Although much has changed with Sarkozy’s rise to the French Presidency in this first decade of the new century, the roots of French political and cultural life in this last century have never been better recounted. “Behind the Mask” is likely one of the most unnerving cha
In this totally updated edition of France on the Brink (which includes data about President Hollande), Jonathan Fenby tries to understand a country that may seem puzzling to many: it attracts millions of tourists every year, 84 millions in 2013, Americans have a very romantic a view about anything and everything French, yet at the same time France is experiencing “double-digit unemployment, a rampant extremist party of the far right and [they are] a people who reject the elite that has ruled the ...more
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Valuable coverage of how France has changed in the last forty years. Especially enjoyed the segments on country life and on culture. If you have ever wondered what is going on in the french psyche this book will clear up a lot of misconceptions. Style is engaging.
Scott Vizcarra
Feb 25, 2010 rated it liked it
It was very interesting and got into all the nuances of the french mentality and the trivia of the french politians. Although I did learn much specifically about the french, it didn't change my opinion of them at all. The French are the French and I accept them for all that they are.
Henry Levy
May 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: france
I'm still reading this book but I'll write a review when I finish it.
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Jonathan Fenby, CBE, has been the editor of The Observer and the South China Morning Post. He is currently China Director at the research service Trusted Sources.