John J. Miller & Mark Molesky
Our Oldest Enemy: The History of
America's Disastrous Relationship
with France.
Doubleday, 261 pages, $24.95

Recall that the “rush” to war with Iraq was attended in the U.S. by an efflorescence of Francophobic fever. Our streets ran red with Bordeaux (a revolutionary excess worthy of the Reign of Terror); France was placed in an “axis of weasels”; in public discourse, Frenchmen were reduced—quelle injustice! quelle effronterie!—to shiftless Pépé Le Pews, reeking of Gauloises and raw fear.

For all that this reaction was condemned as boorish or “xenophobic,” one feels there is a great gulf between “Chirac est un ver” or “freedom fries” and, say, Jean Baudrillard’s comment about 9/11: “How all the world without...

 
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