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Pas Si Fous, Ces Français! di…
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Pas Si Fous, Ces Français! (originale 2003; edizione 2005)

di Jean-Benoît; Barlow Nadeau, Julie

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
5201237,832 (3.65)9
The French... -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 powerSo what makes the French so different?Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. Decrypting French ideasabout land, privacy and language, Nadeau and Barlow weave together the threadsof French society - from centralization and the Napoleonic Code to elite education and even street protests - giving us, for the first time, a complete picture of the French."[A] readable and insightful piece of work." - Montreal Mirror"In an era of irrational reactions to all things French, here is an eminently rational answer to the question, 'Why are the French like that?'" - Library Journal"A must-read." - Edmonton Journal… (altro)
Utente:jesusrosas
Titolo:Pas Si Fous, Ces Français!
Autori:Jean-Benoît; Barlow Nadeau, Julie
Info:
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca, GDL, Hna. Isela
Voto:
Etichette:French, Civilization, Culture, Customs, Social life

Informazioni sull'opera

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French di Jean-Benoît Nadeau (2003)

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» Vedi le 9 citazioni

This looks from the cover and blurb like yet another of those handy guides to expat life written by some self-declared expert who has parachuted into Paris/the Dordogne for a few months, but it turns out to be something rather more ambitious: the bilingual Canadian couple Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow are both serious journalists who set themselves the task — with the help of a handy grant from an international foundation — of working out how the French state and its economy really work in practice, and they have tried to condense the results of that investigation into a format that would make sense to a North American reader. Their project clearly involved a lot of discussions on and off the record with influential people in France, as well as plenty of burrowing in libraries and databases, but the result is lively and informative.

Admittedly, it's twenty years old now, so probably well past its use-by date. Also, I'm not a North American reader, and there were only a few parts of the book where I really felt I was learning something new about France — I found the chapter about the inner workings of the elite civil service college ENA very interesting, for example, but I didn't really need a rehash of De Gaulle, World War II and Algeria. Or half a chapter on Minitel, for that matter! And what Nadeau and Barlow say about the French role in the EEC and EU seems too superficial to be of any use to anyone.

Obviously you can't cover the whole of French life in one small paperback: being mostly interested in economic and constitutional matters, they don't find any time for the role of art and design in France, and what they say about food is also oddly narrow — there's quite a bit about the importance of local food production and terroir, but next to nothing about the way the French buy and consume food.

I was amused by the way they were both so shocked by the French insistence that every encounter, however superficial, must start with a greeting: it never occurred to me that that might be strange to a North American. Don't they say "bonjour" in Quebec?

Better than it looks, but out of date. ( )
1 vota thorold | May 6, 2022 |
A good overall read on French history, culture, and language by two French Canadians. This is mainly for people who are planning a visit but don't really speak the language or aren't too familiar with the country, but want to learn a little more than what's in the usual guide books to make sure you understand the basics and don't make too many faux pas. ( )
  FarahWizzen558 | Aug 27, 2020 |
Wide-ranging look at all aspects of modern French life. Most interesting is how the state has come to dominate and be accepted as the dominator. Also, how much Napoleon did to lay the foundations, shaky through most of the 19th and half of the 20th centuries, ready for de Gaulle to complete the structure after WW2. These French generals knew a lot more than bang-bang shoot-shoot. The authors talk of the French lack of interest in overseas (evident in their relative low numbers as international tourists), but this does not accord with their desperate rearguard fights to hold onto Indochina and Algeria, nor with Louis XIV's and Napoleon's costly attempts to dominate Europe. Seems to me the French have been just as expansionist as the Brits, just didn't have the same eagerness for sea battles and banking.

Tricky to grasp, but important, is how the Revolution eliminated many social structures with emphasis on égalité. Result: you are defined as a citizen of the French state with all that demands and provides. Ethnicity, religion and the rest are cleared away. This has created special difficulties for the Muslim population, which is both large and unassimilated, clinging on to a separate identity. The book is now more than a decade old but this accounts much for current difficulties.

A chatty conversational style makes for easy reading in what is really quite a complex and fact-filled analysis. A few facts inevitably miss the mark: e.g. Novartis is a Swiss company, not french at all, Tarot is not a card game. ( )
1 vota vguy | Jun 16, 2018 |
Not quite what I expected, although not necessarily a bad thing. I found this in the travel section and I expected it to be more of a memoir of travels in France, rather than a semi history/social commentary book. The authors spent a couple years of France and instead dedicate the book explaining France's history, various aspects of their culture and government, etc. Sometimes it was really interesting to read, other times it tended to drag on and on. At other times the text would read fairly linearly, but others it seemed to jump around when mentioning say Lionel Jospin or other aspects of French culture/politics/history that sometimes made the text a little confusing.

The book is about 10 years old as of this review, so the references might be somewhat dated. For instance, there is no mention of Nicolas Sarkozy but there is some discussion of his predecessors, ie Chirac and Mitterand. Still, overall it was interesting and insightful. If you like France and enjoy learning about other cultures, this is a good, relatively easy read (as opposed to a heavy and dry textbook). ( )
1 vota HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
This was a fun introduction to French culture. The two authors, Canadian journalists who relocated to France for two years, set out to explain why the French are the way they are, and why Americans and the French often have so much trouble getting along. There are chapters dedicated to the influences of World War II and the war with Algeria, chapters dedicated to the education system, and sections dedicated to the French insistence on precision in language, their ideas of personal space, and their opinions on which topics are appropriate to discuss in public and which are not. Nadeau's writing style is clear and lively and punctuated with personal anecdotes. ( )
  Hanneri | Mar 11, 2014 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (5 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Jean-Benoît Nadeauautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Barlow, Julieautore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
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Imagine a country where people work 35-hour weeks, take seven weeks of paid holidays per year, take an hour and a half for lunch, have the longest life expectancy in the world, and eat the richest food on the planet.
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The French... -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 powerSo what makes the French so different?Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. Decrypting French ideasabout land, privacy and language, Nadeau and Barlow weave together the threadsof French society - from centralization and the Napoleonic Code to elite education and even street protests - giving us, for the first time, a complete picture of the French."[A] readable and insightful piece of work." - Montreal Mirror"In an era of irrational reactions to all things French, here is an eminently rational answer to the question, 'Why are the French like that?'" - Library Journal"A must-read." - Edmonton Journal

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