Can we still teach Mark Twain, whose hero is referred to as a "nigger," now that the word has been banished? What about Hergé's comic books and their grotesque depiction of women, Jews, Blacks, and Arabs? In the United States, as in France and other countries, populist movements are shaking up intellectual and political norms. New leaders are announcing that...[Subscriber]
Regardless of differing opinions of the United States, it is an experimental model for our possible future. This applies to culture and technology, but can the same be said for politics? The American tradition of referendums has stopped tax increases and legalized cannabis. However, whether it will one day be adopted in France remains to be seen. During his famous...[Subscriber]
As the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice is being celebrated, public opinion is divided on the inclusion of Pétain’s name in the list of eight French marshals honored by the Elysée Palace on Saturday 10 November. Pétain is a major historical figure, having been both the hero of the Battle of Verdun in World War I, and the collaborationist,...[Subscriber]
The testimony of a university professor who has brought sexual assault accusations against Donald Trump's candidate to the U.S. Supreme Court heralds a new step in the #MeToo movement. Women all over the world are now speaking out as one to tell men that “enough is enough.” Last Thursday I was on Times Square in New York where all media...[Subscriber]
The number of French ministers surpasses that of the United States. Following the nomination of a new minister for the environment and for sports, Guy Sorman compares the ministerial appointments between our two countries. The French change governments like most people change their clothes. By contrast, the United States is more stable, even with an unpredictable president. The French state...[Subscriber]
Much to everyone’s surprise, the U.S. president seems set to lead the dance until the music stops. What’s more, his voters are increasingly enthusiastic and his opposition is paralyzed. Ronald Reagan earned the nickname “the Teflon President” during the 1980s because nothing seemed to affect him or hamper his popularity, despite his mistakes and a number of scandals. Is Trump...[Subscriber]
New York Times op-ed writer Antony J. Blinken hopes that the victory of multicolored France in the World Cup final will positively influence Macron’s plan for the banlieues. A third of the members of this year’s world championship team, he reminds us, were born in these neglected, underprivileged urban areas outside Paris. “It’s time for the Macron government to bring long-awaited...
Franco-American history features a number of commercial and diplomatic disputes, from the “chicken war” in the 1960s to Donald Trump’s recent declarations about taxing steel and aluminum imported from Europe. With its boycotts and protectionist policies, we explore these conflicts through five episodes looking at the history of certain controversial products. Episode 2: Hormone-Grown Beef vs. Roquefort Europe bowed to...
Franco-American history features a number of commercial and diplomatic disputes, from the “chicken war” in the 1960s to Donald Trump’s recent declarations about taxing steel and aluminum imported from Europe. With its boycotts and protectionist policies, we explore these conflicts through five episodes looking at the history of certain controversial products. Episode 1: The Chicken War In the middle of...
Fifty-seven people from 16 different countries became naturalized French citizens at a ceremony at the Consulate General of France in New York. Who said, and on what occasion, that “Our country is not a nation founded on blood, but on shared values”? And who celebrated the “diversity of origins” of new citizens at their naturalization ceremony? Anyone would be forgiven...[Subscriber]
“Compassion fatigue” is a powerful expression in the English language that, to my knowledge, has no translation in French. It refers to the feeling of weariness that overcomes supposedly charitable souls when they judge they have given too much to others without seeing many tangible results in return. This phenomenon can be seen when Western populations (who are almost the only...[Subscriber]
For a minivan ride and a book-signing event, New Yorker writer Lauren Collins shadowed former French president François Hollande, whose four-hundred page account of his five years in office came out last April. The book, "between a self-help guide and a thriller," is the thirteenth-best-selling book on Amazon in France. Read more at The New Yorker.
The demonstrations of May 1968, fifty years ago this month, brought a moral metamorphosis such as France had not known since the Romantic era. Fifty years ago in Paris, the weather was beautiful. Everyone who participated in what has since been called "the events" at least has this memory in common. Evenings were particularly mild and seemingly endless on the...[Subscriber]
With the bises (a kiss on both cheeks), the gushing praise, and the endless handshakes, the complicit relationship between Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump has inspired countless reactions from the American media. “The couple seemed happy to be together again,” joked the New York Times, going so far as to describe the French president’s visit to Washington as a “bromance”...
The French once expressed their discontent by putting up barricades. Today, they go on strike. It is true that barricades have not been seen in Paris since May 1968. Charles de Gaulle, who was president at the time, decided to remove the cobblestones and cover the streets with asphalt instead. No more stones, no more barricades. But going head to...[Subscriber]
In the longstanding history of transatlantic relations, an unexpected and paradoxical joining of French and American xenophobic movements has suddenly appeared. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, former representative of the Vaucluse département, granddaughter of the Front National founder, and clearly a politician consumed by ambition, took part in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on February 22, 2018. As if...[Subscriber]
The Schaubühne theater company headed up by German director Thomas Ostermeier is presenting Returning to Reims at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn until February 25. The show was created by actress Nina Hoss (Homeland) in reaction to Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential elections, and is inspired by an eponymous essay by French sociologist and philosopher Didier Eribon published in...
Power is shifting from politics to economics — a change demonstrated by Emmanuel Macron, who invited CEOs of the biggest multinationals to a gala dinner at the Château de Versailles. On January 22, 2018, the French president invited 140 heads of the world’s biggest companies to the Château de Versailles. The summit was entitled "Choose France" and was held in...[Subscriber]
The Washington Post
The French publishing house Gallimard announced that in May it will release Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Ecrits Polémiques (Polemical Writings), a series of three anti-Semitic pamphlets written by the beloved French author between 1936 and 1941. The Washington Post is questioning the timeliness of this decision as well as how to put into context pamphlets written in support of German and Italian...
Anyone reading the op-ed published in the New York Times on December 28, 2017, would believe French people are racists who turn a blind eye, while Americans at least recognize the discrimination inflicted on African-Americans. This hypothesis is based on the misfortunes of a French journalist of African descent, Rokhaya Diallo, who has made the papers in America while stirring...[Subscriber]
At first glance, the two presidents have nothing in common. One cites philosophers known only to him; the other pours his heart out on Twitter. One knows what he’s talking about; the other swears by Fox News. But upon closer inspection, they are also quite alike. Both presidents are very much of their time. Take their approach to democracy, for...[Subscriber]