France in Focus

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Leave it to a nation’s best seller list to reveal a touch of cultural schizophrenia. In France, books with titles like “The American Enemy” and “The United States” and “Planetary Manipulation” vie for shelf space with books like “Falling France” and “French Disarray.”

Name-calling and navel-gazing it seems, sell. But the French bookshelf also reveals a nation as perturbed by American unilateralism and hegemony as it is concerned with preserving its patrimony and place in the world. Both preoccupations are time-honored Gallic traditions, and both beg the question of how, if given the chance, the French would do things differently. The world according to France


Jean David Levitte, French Ambassador to the United States