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A Literature of Accommodation

Edward C. Knox

In the last ten to fifteen years, at least twenty personal narratives and sets of essays have appeared, recounting attempts by Americans to fit in, to belong at some level in France. These texts, of which Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon is probably the best known, have by now become a full-fledged genre, one that appears, moreover, to be more prominent on France than on any other country or culture, with Italy/Tuscany as the only competitor. Two became bestsellers (Gopnik and Sedaris) and a third (Kaplan) was a National Book Award finalist. Nor is this an isolated phenomenon, as Carolyn Durham demonstrates in the area of fiction elsewhere in this issue.

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Tous Américains?

Not Yet and Not Tous

Edward C. Knox

Philippe Roger, L’Ennemi américain: Généalogie de l’antiaméricanisme français (Paris: Seuil, 2002).

Jean-François Revel, L’Obsession anti-américaine: Son fonctionnement, ses causes, ses inconséquences (Paris: Plon, 2002).

Jean-Marie Colombani, Tous Américains? Le monde après le 11 septembre 2001 (Paris: Fayard, 2002).

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Déjà Views

How Americans Look at France

Edward C. Knox

As the (un)diplomatic debates over Iraq in the first months of this year and the attendant media coverage amply attested, the well-known lovers’ quarrel between America and France, an “I Love You, Moi Non Plus”2 mixture of frustration and admiration, gratitude and annoyance, is now into its third century and still going strong, as France and the French clearly continue to inspire strong feelings in Americans.

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Uncle Sam and Marianne as Couple Infernal

Edward C. Knox

Eric Dior, Un Couple infernal: 200 ans de francophobie et d’antiaméricanisme (Paris: Perrin, 2003).

Pierre Rigoulot, L’Antiaméricanisme: Critique d’un prêt-à-penser rétrograde et chauvin (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2004).

Alain Hertoghe, La Guerre à outrances: Comment la presse nous a désinformés sur l’Irak (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 2003).

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"C'est moi qui décide!"

French Child Rearing Redux

Edward C. Knox

Pamela Druckerman, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (New York: Penguin Press, 2012).

Karen Le Billon, French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters (New York: William Morrow, 2012).