Books In Brief

Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, the Periphery, and the Future of France, by Christophe Guilluy (New Haven: Yale University Press; 184 pp., $25.00). The French dislike what they call “Anglo-American economics” even more than they dislike English and American cookery; also, more recently, progressive Anglo-American views regarding the supposed identicality between the sexes. Christophe Guilluy, a well-known geographer, author, and man of the left, argues that

it is plain to see that France has become an “American” society like all the rest, inegalitarian and multicultural.  In the space of a few decades, the implacable law of global markets has asserted its authority everywhere, replacing a society founded on egalitarian ideals by a polarized society seething with tensions of every sort beneath a placid surface.

Apparently, his new book was written, or at least translated, before the Gilets jaunes commenced their Saturday rampages two weeks after the celebration last November of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great War.  Still, his description of France as a country wracked by social and political tensions is entirely accurate, and so is his condemnation of “Anglo-Saxon economics” insofar as he equates it with globalization.  Guilluy attributes these unhappy developments to the fact that a sizable portion of French...

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