Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong

Written by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow, this book tries to explain why so many people love France but not the French. An interesting book, although a bit dry at times, it travels through the reasons the French are just worlds away from any other country.

It starts out with French history and how the French people are ingrained in their history even when they are moving forward and becoming more modern. The French hold their elite up and expect them to be better (grandeur); going as far as to create elite schools just to make some people better than others. The book also covers the wars France was involved in, including WWII where they persecuted their Jews before Germany could. Explanations of the various forms of government explain why the French are more than ok with one large governing body and ok with being taxed on everything. Overall, the system works even if it looks unwieldy to everyone else. Most people are covered for medical and unemployment and retirement in France.

This book doesn't explain everything about France but it's pretty close. A good introduction into why the French are the way they are and why they are not necessarily what we think they are.
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