The 1945 Handbook for American GIs in Occupied France
Author: Bodleian Library
When American troops arrived in Paris to help maintain order at the end of the Second World War they were, at first, received by the local population with a sense of euphoria. However, the French soon began to resent the Americans for their display of wealth and brashness, while the US soldiers found the French and their habits irritating and incomprehensible. To bridge the cultural divide, the American generals came up with an innovative solution. They commissioned a surprisingly candid book which collated the GIs’ ‘gripes’ and reproduced them with answers aimed at promoting understanding of the French and their country.The ‘gripes’ reveal much about American preconceptions: ‘The French drink too much’, ‘French women are immoral’, ‘The French drive like lunatics!’, ‘The French don’t bathe’, ‘The French aren’t friendly’ are just some of the many complaints.Putting the record straight, the answers cover topics as diverse as night-clubs, fashion, agriculture and sanitation. They also offer an unusual insight into the reality of daily life immediately after the war, evoking the shortage of food and supplies, the acute poverty and the scale of the casualties and destruction suffered by France during six years of conflict.Illustrated with delightfully evocative cartoons and written in a direct, colloquial style, this gem from 1945 is by turns amusing, shocking and thought-provoking in its valiant stand against prejudice and stereotype.
The thrill of love in the heady days following liberation soon turned to a lesson in reality as GI's and their French brides navigated paperwork, bigotry, and culture shock on both sides, some finding true love, and some finding the American Dream.
They Eat Horses, Don't They?:The Truth About the French tells you what life in France is really like. Do the French eat horses? Do French women bare all on the beach? What is a bidet really used for? In this hilarious and informative book, Piu Marie Eatwell reveals the truth behind forty-five myths about the French, from the infamous horsemeat banquets of the nineteenth century that inspired an irrepressible rumor, to breaking down our long-held beliefs about French history and society (the French are a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, right?). Eatwell lived in France for many years and made the most of long French weekends, extended holidays, and paid time off to sit on French beaches, evaluate the sexual allure of the French men and women around her, and, of course, scan café menus for horses and frogs. As a result, They Eat Horses, Don't They? reveals a fascinating picture of historical and contemporary France—a country that has both changed radically in the twenty-first century, but yet still retains much of the mystery, romance, and allure that has seduced foreigners for decades. Truth, as always, is stranger than fiction. . . .
Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment
Author: Stéphane Henaut
Publisher: The New Press
One of Smithsonian magazine’s “Ten Best Books About Travel of 2018” One of AFAR magazine’s “8 New Books You Need to Read Before Flying to France” A “delicious” (Dorie Greenspan), “genial” (Kirkus Reviews), “very cool book about the intersections of food and history” (Michael Pollan)—as featured in the New York Times Acclaimed upon its hardcover publication as a “culinary treat for Francophiles” (Publishers Weekly), A Bite-Sized History of France is a thoroughly original book that explores the facts and legends of the most popular French foods and wines. Traversing the cuisines of France’s most famous cities as well as its underexplored regions, the book is enriched by the “authors’ friendly accessibility that makes these stories so memorable” (The New York Times Book Review). This innovative social history also explores the impact of war and imperialism, the age-old tension between tradition and innovation, and the enduring use of food to prop up social and political identities. The origins of the most legendary French foods and wines—from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne—also reveal the social and political trends that propelled France’s rise upon the world stage. As told by a Franco-American couple (Stéphane is a cheesemonger, Jeni is an academic) this is an “impressive book that intertwines stories of gastronomy, culture, war, and revolution. . . . It’s a roller coaster ride, and when you’re done you’ll wish you could come back for more” (The Christian Science Monitor).
American women look at French women as having it all: sex, motherhood, work, and public office, while French women look at American women as puritanical, excessively feminist, and unable to “have it all” without guilt. The essays in this book by leading American and French academics and critics set the record straight by assessing the truth of each outlook. They conclude that facts are different from imagination, and that on many issues, French feminists could actually look to the U.S. for inspiration. This book offers the first comparative critical appraisal of how women live in the US and in France and suggests paths of reflection on what women can do to improve their lives in the twenty-first century. This is a must read for anyone interested in the nature of womanhood today in the Western World.