3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us

November 15, 1999 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on November 15, 1999.

From this point you can link / jump up to the main page for,

3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: kessler@well.sf.ca.us

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at kessler@well.sf.ca.us


FYI France -- John Ardagh's new book

A really excellent English - language overview of all things French just has appeared in print:


Amazon.com logo
Order: France in the new century : portrait of a changing society, by John Ardagh

I cannot recommend this book highly enough: to anyone interested in France, particularly Modern France, or Europe generally -- and anyone curious about, or needing to know about, cultural changes forced on traditional societies by the "buzz" in modern life.

Ardagh writes in English -- mercifully, for the many who love the French but know their language imperfectly. Even to someone who knows French well, however, the book still offers a great deal of value: many insights, the product of the author's nearly 50 years of fascination with and experience of France -- he was correspondent for The Times in the 50s, for The Observer in the 60s, and has an extensive bibliography (see below).

And Ardagh's is at least one of the best - informed "outsider's views" of France and the French, views particularly valuable to this often - beleaguered land and its introspective people. Plenty of French political and cultural leaders will read this book -- many of them who have mattered over the last 30 years in fact were interviewed in its preparation.

John Ardagh is, by now, a venerable institution to anyone outside the Hexagone who has been interested in France since the 1960s. To those of us whose personal interests in France first were awakened by -- who teethed on -- his,

Amazon.com logo
Order: The new French Revolution; a social & economic survey of France 1945-1967

the wait for this entirely new view -- not an update or revision but a new investigation, drawing only occasionally on his earlier work -- has been interminable. Works on modern France in French rarely are this general; works in English rarely are this good.


Ardagh also is irrepressible:

-- this sort of writing makes his text flow wonderfully, and the strong opinions and barrage of facts and statistics he offers to support them are a rare pleasure to read for a "modern anything" sort of book -- the book is fun.

Other morsels:


And Ardagh pulls no punches:

-- but at least his saracasm can be hilariously funny, in true Parisian style --


And one Ardagh observation on French libraries: this on recent Front National interference --


The book's table of contents follows: another good indicator of Ardagh's irrepressible style -- he is a good headline - writer. Anyone already knowledgeable about France will find something of interest here; anyone lacking such knowledge and wanting a beginning should read it all; something for everyone --

  1. Introduction

  2. Paradoxes Of The Economic "Miracle"

  3. Social Progress, But Scares About Welfare Jobs, Racism

  4. The Regions Against Paris: Renewal And Reform

  5. A Booming Modern Agriculture -- But Can The Small Farmer Survive?

  6. Culture And Intellectuals: Vigrous Performing Arts -- But Where Is The New Creativity?

  7. Educational Reform: Equality Versus Elitism

  8. Private And Leisure Life: New Freedoms, New Hedonism

  9. France, Europe And The World


-- irrepressible, like I said. And provocative: the subtitle of that "Conclusion", at least, should get a few backs up in Paris -- although as Ardagh does warn in his Preface, "The book takes for granted all that is unique and lovable about French civilization. As the French say, 'qui aime bien, châtie bien.'"

I can think of no other more suitable gift for someone interested in France and the French -- an ideal Christmas vacation project.


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John Ardagh: a bibliography -- author is simply "John Ardagh" unless shown otherwise --

-- anyone who knows of more, or has corrections to suggest, I'd like very much to hear via email to kessler@well.sf.ca.us


And a couple of corrections and clarifications to the review, in the October issue of FYI France of the IRCAM's excellent ejournal, L'Oeil du Système:

Zut, alors, vive le / les Québecois...



FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal                   ISSN 1071 - 5916

      |           FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
      |           journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
      |           personal experiment, in the creation of large- 
      |           scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. 
     / \          Any material written by me which appears in 
    -----         FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for 
   //   \\        any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me 
  ---------       credit and show my email address, and, b) it 
 //       \\      isn't going to make them money: if it is going 
		  to make them money, they must get my permission 
in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. 
Use of material written by others requires their permission. 
FYI France archives may be found at http://infolib.berkeley.edu 
(search fyifrance), or http://www.cru.fr/listes/biblio-fr@cru.fr/
(BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com , 
or at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html . Suggestions,
reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be
gratefully received at kessler@well.sf.ca.us 

        	Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, 
	all rights reserved except as expressed above.


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Copyright © 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
W3 site maintained at http://www.fyifrance.com
Document maintained by: Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us
Last update: July 21, 2000