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The French WayHow France Embraced and Rejected American Values and Power$
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Richard F. Kuisel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151816

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151816.001.0001

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The Paradox of the Fin de Siècle: Anti-Americanism and Americanization

The Paradox of the Fin de Siècle: Anti-Americanism and Americanization

(p.329) 7 The Paradox of the Fin de Siècle: Anti-Americanism and Americanization
The French Way

Richard F. Kuisel

Princeton University Press

As the twentieth century drew to a close, Americanization was transforming how the French ate, entertained themselves, conducted business, and even communicated. Yet the fin de siècle also witnessed the strongest expression of anti-Americanism since the 1960s, which was visible in opinion polls, newspapers, books, television, and politicians' pronouncements. This chapter examines this paradox, this tension between a society seemingly immersed in America and one that posed America as “the other.” The growing anti-Americanism can be briefly explained as follows: once the Cold War ended, the transatlantic superpower, from a French perspective, became more overbearing. The French in turn became more critical of domestic trends in the United States and less comfortable with the inroads of American culture. As a result they intensified their efforts at both asserting their independence and defining themselves differently from their American cousins.

Keywords:   France, United States, anti-Americanism, Americanization, American culture

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