Weapons of Mass Diplomacyby Abel Lanzac, Christophe Blain (Illustrator), Edward Gauvin (Translator)
Following 9/11, President Bush’s “War on Terror” with plans to invade Iraq erupted into a cultural clash between French reluctance and American assurance over the case for “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” In Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, diplomat Abel Lanzac reveals the tension and politics through a French insider’s point of/i>
Following 9/11, President Bush’s “War on Terror” with plans to invade Iraq erupted into a cultural clash between French reluctance and American assurance over the case for “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” In Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, diplomat Abel Lanzac reveals the tension and politics through a French insider’s point of view, with satirical humor that softens the controversial subject matter. Readers follow Lanzac’s fictionalized self, Arthur Vlaminck, a speechwriter for the French Foreign Minister. As part of a team of flamboyant ministerial advisors, he has been tasked with drafting France’s response to the growing international crisis in the Middle East, which is then delivered before the United Nations Security Council. A graphic milestone of diplomacy, Weapons of Mass Diplomacya bestseller in Europeprovides a revelatory account of a period that saw French fries become “freedom fries” and an alternative perspective on the decisions leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
In 2003, France opposed the U.S. military juggernaut's initiative to chastise Iraq for presumed "weapons of mass destruction." With a nail-biting tale conjuring both Dilbert and Franz Kafka's satires, Lanzac (pseudonym of former diplomatic staffer Antonin Baudry) fictionalizes the personalities and power plays leading up to this real and courageous decision while Blain (Isaac the Pirate) brilliantly dramatizes the complicated story in all its disheveled detail. The hapless Arthur Vlaminck (Baudry's nom-de-toon) signs on as speechwriter for French foreign minister Alexandre Taillard de Vorms. Buffeted by clouds of doublespeak and doublethink as the crisis builds, Arthur gradually realizes that his infuriating boss is actually a gutsy visionary. Blain's elastic color art invokes the minister as a muscular birdlike giant in constant motion, reimagined by Arthur as variously a minotaur and Darth Vader. The dozens of characters with multihyphenated names and titles, some based on real-life people, all have memorable faces and traits. VERDICT This brilliant graphic novel, winner of the Angoulême International Comics Festival's Best Graphic Novel Award and also adapted into a film, will enthrall thriller fans as well as inform any interested reader about the complexities of international politics.—M.C.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.20(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Abel Lanzac, a pseudonym for Antonin Baudry, is a diplomat and former advisor to French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. Christophe Blain is an award-winning artist and writer. In 2002, he won the Best Graphic Novel award at Angoulême for Isaac the Pirate.
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