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Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong

What Makes the French So French?

Jean-Benoit Nadeau


ISBN: 9781861057150

Price: £9.99

Publication date: 28 April 2004

Category: Popular Culture

The French drink, smoke and eat more fat than anyone in the world, yet they live longer and have fewer heart problems than the English and the Americans. They work 35-hour weeks and take seven weeks’ paid holiday each year, yet they are the world’s fourth-biggest economic power. So how do they do it? From a distance modern France looks like a riddle. It is both rigidly authoritarian, yet incredibly inventive; traditional (even archaic) yet modern; lacking clout on the international stage yet still hugely influential. But with the observations, anecdotes and analysis of the authors, who spent nearly three years living in France, it begins to makes sense. ‘Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong’ is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. This book reveals French ideas about land, food, privacy and language and weaves together the threads of French society, uncovering the essence of life in France and giving, for the first time, a complete picture of the French.


Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1964, Jean-Benoît Nadeau holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from McGill University. A journalist since 1987, he has been the recipient of 17 journalism awards.



"Should be handed out at Calais and Charles de Gaulle airport to anyone hoping to get a grip on France"


Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2004

"Finally there is a book which explains in lucid terms, better than anything else I have read, why the French are as they are"

Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2004

"You would be mad not to read it!"

French Property News

"The must-read for Francophiles and surprise hit of the year, penetrating and witty"

The Times, 11 Dec 2004

"SMF does a good job of explaining France, It should be handed to every English family doing up a little place in the Dordogne." 

The Sunday Times Culture, 25th April

"The authors penetrated some of the most sacred enclaves of French society and returned to tell the tale with wit and erudition."

Celia Brayfield in the New Statesman, 29th November

"Although far from conclusive, their findings are fascinating, revealing as much about the thought process on the other side of the Atlantic as that over the Channel."

Everything France, June 2004

"A well-researched, chatty tome"

The Daily Mail, 9th April 2004

"A well written, valuable study of contemporary France in the context of the country?s historic and socio-political fabric, and an essential read for anyone thinking of setting up home there"

French Magazine June 2004