Excellent and lengthy article by Paul Berman, reviewing 4 books in his FRANCE’S FAILURES, HATREDS, AND SIGNS OF A NEW LOOK AT AMERICA.
We have not seen anything new in the French antagonism during these last few years. We have seen something antique, and this antiquity, once you are aware of it, is hard to miss. After you have read the chapters in Roger’s and Rigoulot’s books on the extreme right of the 1930s and the Vichy era, and the chapters on the Stalinists and fellow-travelers of the 1940s, the sight of one more present-day comparison of Bush and Hitler, or of America’s evangelical Christianity with Nazism or bin Laden’s Islamism, or one more worried concern that America is wending down the tragic path of Weimar Germany, will make your nose wrinkle, as if, merely by turning the pages of a modern French book or newspaper, you have stirred up an ancient dust, which comes floating upward from your reading table in a powdery cloud. Ker-choo!
Read it all, and don’t miss André Glucksmann’s theories on “the perfect society”, and the three hatreds: of America, women, and the Jews.