The number of travelers France welcomes each year is as great as its population-some sixty million. They arrive to experience not only the latest fashions in clothing, art, and cuisine, but also the vestiges of a past that encompasses a half million years. Among these vestiges are Neolithic cave paintings, Roman villas and temples, medieval cathedrals, and royal chateaux. This concise volume outlines French history from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. The diverse themes discussed include the relations of France with its neighbors, the ever-present tension between national unity and regional autonomy, the role of the Catholic Church, and developments in public works and education. In order to lend this vast panorama a more human face, the author gives special attention to the life of at least one individual in each major era.