Seducing the French The Dilemma of Americanization
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Description: When Coca-Cola was introduced in France in the late 1940s, the country's most prestigious newspaper warned that Coke threatened France's cultural landscape. This is one of the examples cited in Richard Kuisel's engaging exploration of France's response to American influence after World War II. In analyzing early French resistance and then the gradual adaptation to all things American that evolved by the mid-1980s, he offers an intriguing study of national identity and the protection of cultural boundaries. The French have historically struggled against Americanization in order to safeguard "Frenchness." What would happen to the French way of life if gaining American prosperity brought vulgar materialism and social conformity? A clash between American consumerism and Frenchcivilisationseemed inevitable. Cold War anti-Communism, the Marshall Plan, the Coca-Cola controversy, and de Gaulle's efforts to curb American investment illustrate ways that anti-Americanization was played out. Kuisel also raises issues that extend beyond France, including the economic, social, and cultural effects of the Americanized consumer society that have become a global phenomenon. Kuisel's lively account reaches across French society to include politicians, businessmen, trade unionists, Parisian intelligentsia, and ordinary citizens. The result reveals much about the French--and about Americans. As Euro Disney welcomes travellers to its Parisian fantasyland, and with French recently declared the official language of France (to defend it from the encroachments of English), Kuisel's book is especially relevant.
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List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 1/27/1997
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Richard F. Kuisel holds a joint appointment at the BMW Center for German and European Studies and in the History Department at Georgetown University. His books include "Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization"
|Anti-Americanism and National Identity|
|The New American Hegemony: The French and the Cold War|
|Yankee Go Home: The Left, Coca-Cola, and the Cold War|
|The Missionaries of the Marshall Plan|
|The American Temptation: The Coming of Consumer Society|
|The Gaullist Exorcism: Anti-Americanism Encore|
|The American Challenge: Dollars and Multinationals|
|Detente: Debating America in the 1960s|
|Vive l'Amerique: An Epilogue from 1970 to Euro Disneyland|
|Reflections: The French Face Americanization|