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A Hard Sell? Book Tells Americans How to Be French
Reuters ^ | Mon April 14, 2003 10:23 AM ET | Reuters

Posted on 04/14/2003 6:29:10 PM PDT by Nachum

CHICAGO (Reuters) - It may be as ill-timed as opening a new storefront business in downtown Baghdad -- a book telling Americans how they too can be like the French. But its principal author, chef Robert Arbor, says his "Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living" is "beyond politics" and will quench a thirst deeper than the current tempest in a demitasse.

So does publisher Simon & Schuster, which says the timing may work in the book's favor -- offering closet Francophiles in the United States a guide to pursuing the politically incorrect in the privacy of their homes without having to sneak out to a French restaurant, even as U.S.-French ties are iced by disagreements over the Iraq war.

Arbor, who owns nine New York and Boston restaurants, including seven Le Gamin Cafes, says his book of pictures, recipes and reminiscences about living a good life every day will sell because French culture has survived worse, including wars and revolutions.

"One thing that always stayed around was the way of life, taking time and enjoying moments that are important in the day," the Fontainebleau native said in an interview.

The book goes on sale at $27 hardcover on May 1.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: americans; antifrenchhumor; book; bookreview; french; hardsell; joiedevivre; tells
Wow, I bet FReepers can come up with all sorts of unique ways to be French!
1 posted on 04/14/2003 6:29:10 PM PDT by Nachum
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2 posted on 04/14/2003 6:30:36 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Nachum
I bet FReepers can come up with all sorts of unique ways to be French!

I surrender

3 posted on 04/14/2003 6:30:59 PM PDT by ZinGirl
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To: Nachum
Talk about bad marketing! Its going to the discount bin a week or two after publication.
4 posted on 04/14/2003 6:31:34 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Nachum
I bet the publisher has been watching the news of the last few months with dread.
5 posted on 04/14/2003 6:32:47 PM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: goldstategop
Nah. Even Charmin wouldn't accept it for recycling into toilet paper.
6 posted on 04/14/2003 6:33:50 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered....)
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To: Nachum
French culture has survived worse, including wars and revolutions

Cockroaches are supposed to survive nuclear war. Let's hear it for the Cockroach culture.

7 posted on 04/14/2003 6:34:23 PM PDT by freedomlover
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To: Nachum
Wee! Plant trees in the back yard so that when the German troops come through they will have a delightful garden to have lunch!
8 posted on 04/14/2003 6:35:44 PM PDT by TaMoDee
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To: goldstategop
I can't wait to pick up a few discounted copies. They'll make dandy targets for the pistol range!
9 posted on 04/14/2003 6:36:41 PM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free
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To: Nachum
So does publisher Simon & Schuster, which says the timing may work in the book's favor -- offering closet Francophiles in the United States a guide to pursuing the politically incorrect in the privacy of their homes without having to sneak out to a French restaurant

Whoever came up with this one wins Spinner of the Year.

10 posted on 04/14/2003 6:36:44 PM PDT by freedomlover
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To: Nachum
Just wait for each Clinton to get their books published, if ever. Emulating them is as French as anyone can get.
11 posted on 04/14/2003 6:37:41 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Nachum
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 3,421


12 posted on 04/14/2003 6:38:42 PM PDT by paulklenk
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To: Nachum
To be french:
  1. Purse your lips as if to whistle
  2. INSTEAD of blowing. SUCK.
  3. (optional)One may SUCK and BLOW, it is still french

13 posted on 04/14/2003 6:40:12 PM PDT by Spruce
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To: Nachum
Look down your nose at the bourgeoisie...Oh wait thats the Hollywood left. Nevermind.
14 posted on 04/14/2003 6:42:17 PM PDT by Starstruck
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To: Nachum
Good God - make room on the remainder shelves! I'm gonna pay 27 buckadingdongs for a lesson in sociopathological delusions of superiority? The only way this little brick could make me feel more French is if I open it midway, insert genitalia, and close it with a ten-ton hydraulic press while singing La Marseillaise...
15 posted on 04/14/2003 6:43:35 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Nachum
That'll be as popular as the hardcover, "Glarrgh-Uuuuruuggg-Splatter!!! Vomiting Throughout The Ages".
16 posted on 04/14/2003 6:44:50 PM PDT by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: Nachum
I have no desire to wave a white flag, paint a yellow stripe down my back, or to eat slimy snails. I was born an American and I'll die an American. That means waving the red, white and blue, standing up for myself and my country, and eating good old beef.
17 posted on 04/14/2003 6:57:33 PM PDT by AlaskaErik
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To: Nachum
Be French? I'd rather be dead.
18 posted on 04/14/2003 6:58:58 PM PDT by LibKill (Nuke Berlin! Better late than never.)
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To: Nachum
Robert Arbor, how do you define the French ?

Easy. I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.

19 posted on 04/14/2003 7:01:07 PM PDT by Lockbox
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To: Nachum
...Book Tells Americans How to Be French...

No thanks. I can't live without a daily shower.

20 posted on 04/14/2003 7:02:02 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (Peace through Strength)
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To: Nachum
Instead of showering, dump cologne all over yourself. Smoke three packs of cigarettes a day. Drink wine all day. Cheat on your spouse. Act like you're above such petty values like patriotism and religion. Only work four days a week, and do a half-assed job.
21 posted on 04/14/2003 7:07:35 PM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Nachum
There's a whole chapter on perfecting your sneer.
22 posted on 04/14/2003 7:20:36 PM PDT by Salman
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To: Nachum
"French culture has survived worse, including wars and revolutions."

Helps explain why the french are cowards...all the men who were willing to fight have died out over the years, leaving the children of cowards.

23 posted on 04/14/2003 7:32:01 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: Nachum
Stop bathing, be arrogant and rude. 'Nuff said.
24 posted on 04/14/2003 8:45:01 PM PDT by buffyt (Freedom is worth fighting for! America, Land of the Free! Home of the Brave!)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
I always get a little irritated when people say "the French," as if they were one amorphous mass. True, Chirac is a worm, and most French politicians aren't any better (not that our politicians are so great, either).

I spent some time in France and a close friend of mine is French, but I suspect many posters who are bashing all the French are just mindlessly parroting the stereotypes they've heard. For as bad as France is in the world, Russia is far worse.

The stereotypes from my personal experience, so take them as you like...

Rude: Quite the opposite. French people are almost always very polite, even in the big cities. In fact, they are the politest people I've experienced in Europe. The Spanish are the rudest, by far.

Smelly: No, they are very clean. They wear clean clothes and shower regularly. In fact, I see many more dirty people in the US. Oh, yes, the women shave.

Anti-American: Some are, some aren't. I never personally noticed it in any way, but it shows up in polls. I did see a number of French people wearing shirts with American flags half a year ago. No, they weren't American tourists. I saw a lot of other signs that many French people like the US.

Anti-Christian: Many are, absolutely. They can be pretty intolerant in this way. Still, _some_ people are religious.

Arrogant: Many of them are convinced that the world revolves around France, yes. But they aren't so arrogant in other ways.

Snail-eaters: So what? I eat oysters, and they look pretty disgusting.

Cowards: They haven't exactly distinguished themselves since Napolean, and they were disgraceful in WW II. Still, at least they didn't plunge all of Europe and the US into the hell that Germany did. And I met one elderly, heroic French woman who worked against the Nazis in WW II. She had a superb, sunny personality, too.

Treacherous: There is some truth to this. I knew a CEO who dealt with corporations all around the world, and his worst dealings were with French companies. The scum really seem to rise to the top in France. There is an elitist attitude there that I noticed, and the elite are forgiven too many sins. The average French person I dealt with treated me honestly.

Lazy: That depends. The students are pushed very, very hard in school. American students would quickly crack under the pressure in a French school. Once they get a job, especially a government job, yes some can be lazy. The police are infuriatingly lazy! People in the private sector work harder. Sound familiar?

Sexually charged philanderers: Yes. According to some polls I've seen, Americans are just as bad, but the French don't try to hide their lust. In many ways, French men often don't treat women as well as they should. A lot of French women work and do all the housework, for instance.

France is a mixed bag. The people constantly elect idiots for leaders, and the French public certainly has some nutty ideas. There is no question that, as a country, Britain always displays a sense of honor vastly above that of France. Yet I can also say that my personal dealings with the average French person were nearly always positive. So don't slam all French people for their rulers. Americans elected Clinton and a Democratic Congress, remember!

Oh, yes, my French friend hates both wine and onions. So much for stereotypes.
25 posted on 04/14/2003 9:39:22 PM PDT by AdamSmith1776 (French stereotyping)
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To: AdamSmith1776
Oh yeah. The French are great. I just asked my expatriot French Jewish friend the same thing as you. He compares today's France to Germany of 1934.

A wonderful place.

26 posted on 04/14/2003 9:50:44 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: AdamSmith1776
I'm sure your French friends are nice, but France is an emerging enemy of America and is going out of its way to align itself with other nations to thwart our strategic interests.
27 posted on 04/15/2003 3:17:46 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (Peace through Strength)
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To: AdamSmith1776
I am almost 1/2 French. I have toured France, spent a lot of time in Paris. I found many of the people to be arrogant and rude. We got maced in the subway in 1980. The conductor was angry with one passenger, so he left his car, came into our car, and sprayed mace right into his face, point blank. We were standing right behind the man, we got maced, too. My asthma attack was deadly. Why was the conductor mad? An innocent, stupid man, held the door open for a couple of people who were running to get on the subway car - not knowing that you can't do this. The train was still stopped when he held the door open. If the train had taken off, or was moving that would have been different. We were going to go to the embassy and police and complain, but were told that no one would care, no one would do anything about it. Several hours later, after my lungs and eyes recovered, we were OK again.

That was the rudest thing that ever happened to us in France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, Mexico, or Switzerland, all put together!
28 posted on 04/15/2003 6:03:22 AM PDT by buffyt (Freedom is worth fighting for! America, Land of the Free! Home of the Brave!)
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To: AdamSmith1776
There was a French foreign exchange student here, he lived with friends of ours, he rarely showered, and wore the same dirty shirt most of the time. Edna tried to get him to shower and put on a clean shirt when he left to go back home to France.

I will admit that when we were in the Bach House listening to organ music, in former East Germany, a group of French tourists came in late, and they smelled like heavy perfume, didn't smell dirty at all.

We were at an outdoor wine festival in Deidesheim Germany once and when the sun came out everyone took off their jackets, and the B.O. was overwhelming. None of them had showered, shaved, or used deoderant.

I think Europeans just don't shower daily like Americans do. Most of the women in the Western countries shave now. But we were at an outdoor festival in Leipzig Germany in 2000 and the women and girls dancing in the festival had not shaved their underarms or legs. And they were VERY hairy. I think it takes a while for ideas like shaving to come to a recently freed country. It used to be East Germany there. Those people were nice, except for my tour guide on a bus tour of the area. She was still angry at America and allies for bombing that town. She still resented Americans and she let it show.

29 posted on 04/15/2003 6:08:39 AM PDT by buffyt (Freedom is worth fighting for! America, Land of the Free! Home of the Brave!)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

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