An American Spectator in Paris

An American Spectator in Paris

by Joseph Harriss

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is certainly not the France of quiet visits to wine country or the Paris of the bâteaux mouches, berets, and baguettes. Veteran journalist Harriss (The Tallest Tower: Eiffel and the Belle Epoque). {aris correspondent for tohe American Spectator, has lived in France long enough to spot the desperate changes that are taking place. His insights into the character of the French come from years of observation demonstrated by this series of published columns on Framce's culture, politics, and global relations. He has no fear of placing blame. The first problem was Mitterrand's success in making France "the most socialist country in Western Europe." The second is the subsuming of national economy in the EU. The real villain at the end is the euro. He makes no attempt to disguise his disdain for the common currency, not to mention NATO and UNESCO. The France that was, tightly integrated culturally, ethnically, and religiously, is faces an identity crisis posed by millions of Muslim immigrants from North Africa—whose integration, Harriss says, was badly handled by Nicolas Sarkozy. The author explains the French psyche easily with columns on subjects as diverse as Chartres Cathedral, Vietmam, French cuisine, Tocqueville, and the National Front party. His fear for France is real and palpable. It is a sad book, but well worth reading to get a better insight into the France that was, what she may become and why. (Oct.)

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