Predominantly, Schoenbrun's France is political, with continual comparisons and perspectives from her history. The concern...

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AS FRANCE GOES

Predominantly, Schoenbrun's France is political, with continual comparisons and perspectives from her history. The concern for precedent and heritage reflects one of Schoenbrun's central beliefs- that France today is buried knee-deep in her past and will march forward only when she breaks loose from the ideals, patterns, fears of yesterday. The dream of colonial empire must go. French society is ridden with absurd impracticality, ranging from the ""elevator game"" which consists in breaking the circuit to stop the car before someone else gets it, to a merit system in grade schools which exalts the few and humiliates the many. French morals have rotted away, and with them the elements of civility. The individual is so thoroughly identified with the age of the small shopkeeper and civilian that the large -scale cooperative endeavor of modern industry remains a source of national horror. The continual overthrow of governments is strictly due to- though of course not completely- France's bitter experience with lasting, strong governments which developed into tyrannies. Schoenbrun, an observer for CBS, has brilliantly traced and analyzed the political conflicts and factions of the post- liberation period; his findings are of real value. But the junkets into French history and actual junkets to the overseas colonies seem superficial.

Pub Date: March 20, 1957

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1957