Skip to content

Response to Review no. 58

I am delighted that Douglas Johnson’s review is more appreciative than that of the American expert on France, who, as a publisher’s reader, described the text as snide, left-wing and insufficiently admiring of de Gaulle. I am sure Douglas could have pointed out far more weaknesses than he does. I take the point about the power-political roots of anti-Americanism, which in the light of a recent paper I was asked to give on Memory and Power in post-war France I would now develop. Clearly Douglas knows more about the workings of the PCF than I do, and developments certainly look more positive there than when I wrote the text in 1994. As for the “lecturing”, the publisher was keen that I should include a section on the challenges facing France. Some of these, such as the lack of multi-culturalism, I would now happily revise in the light of the reactions to the World Cup Victory. But I cannot guarantee that if there is ever a second edition I will have found out where Edith Cresson buys her dresses.