French Africa

This is a meandering essay; although it’s about history, it’s a bit personalized, for effect. In other words, it’s far from straightforwardly scholarly history but I think it’s all or mostly true. Be patient, at one point it will become about the former French African colonial empire and socio-cultural strata it deposited in France, and … Continue reading French Africa

French Expatriates and Foreign Francophiles

First, a definition: an expatriate is someone who lives outside the country of his birth on a more or less permanent basis. I am dealing here with French expatriates specifically, a fairly rare breed in relation to the size of the French population, rarer than English and American expatriates, for example. The French expatriates often … Continue reading French Expatriates and Foreign Francophiles

Ultra-libéralisme – A French Tale

I am in frequent correspondence with a French retired businessman in his sixties. He is a thoughtful man with minimum formal education but who reads two newspapers a day and watches French news on television several times a day. My informal judgment (as a retired teacher) is that he possesses intelligence well above average. His … Continue reading Ultra-libéralisme – A French Tale

The Republican Proposal on Illegal Immigrants and, the French Are Coming

I am responding to a Republican radio and TV ad about illegal immigration. It’s presented as the Republican counter-proposal or response to Pres. Obama demand for “comprehensive immigration legislation.” It displays involuntarily some of the main fallacies Republicans commonly entertain in connection with illegal immigration and other topics. It demonstrates disturbing collective ignorance in my … Continue reading The Republican Proposal on Illegal Immigrants and, the French Are Coming

French Musings on Veterans’ Day

France was one of the least ill-treated countries in Nazi occupied Europe for reasons that are mostly too shameful to recall. In August 1944, in my mother’s arms, I saw one of the first, large contingents of American troops enter Paris. Their presence put an end to the slow process of starvation of most French … Continue reading French Musings on Veterans’ Day