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Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong


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Decrypting French ideas about land, food, privacy and language, this book encompasses observations and anecdotes, political analysis and reflection to uncover links between the French national character, the essence of France and how the French got to be the way they are.

About the Author

Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow are Canadian journalists who have spent the last decade working extensively in English and French. The couple, now based in Montreal, lived in France for nearly three years while researching this book. Jean-Benoit is the holder of 17 journalism awards. Julie worked as editor at a publishing house and her book 'Same Words, Different Language' was published by Piatkus (UK). Both have written for numerous Canadian publications, including 'L'actualite' and 'Saturday Night Magazine'.


In 1999, freelance bilingual Canadian journalists Nadeau and Barlow traveled to France under the auspices of the Institute of Current World Affairs. Their goal? To determine how France has been coping with the new forces of globalization and modern times in general. The product of their effort is a wide-ranging discussion of the French character and how it has changed since World War II. Their overwhelming generalizations are based mostly on conversations with a variety of sources from seat companions on transatlantic flights to high-level government and business officials. The authors' intent "is not a history of France. Neither is it a specialized study of sociology, demography, political theory, or economics. [It] is a study of France." Therein lies the problem: the approach is so inclusive that any reader, except those quite familiar with France, will have a hard time understanding what Nadeau and Barlow are trying to convey. Unfortunately, neither an index nor a bibliography is provided. Readers may find more satisfaction in Julian Barnes's Something To Declare: Essays on France. Not recommended.-Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Should be handed out at Calais and Charles de Gaulle airport to anyone hoping to get a grip on France." Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2004

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