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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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(p.377) Reflections
The French Way

Richard F. Kuisel

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes key themes and presents some thoughts about Franco-American relations. It also discusses the reasons why the French were more eager to confront America than other Europeans. First, more than other Europeans, the French aspired to, and had the means to exercise, international leadership. If they conceded that they lagged behind the hyperpower, they were still persuaded that they were an elite nation with the power, both hard and soft, as well as the experience and self-confidence, to merit a commanding position in Europe and beyond. More keenly than others the French also distrusted American hegemony, found it unreliable and self-serving, and linked the United States with the invasive process of globalization. Second, American practices and values targeted signifiers of identity more closely in France than they did those of its neighbors.

Keywords:   France, United States, anti-Americanism, American hegemony

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