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Les Français (Fourth Edition)

Les Français (Fourth Edition)

Julie Fette, Jean-François Brière, and Laurence Wylie

July 2021 - Imprint: Focus - 384 pp.

Format ISBN Price Qty
Paper 978-1-58510-990-6
$49.00
Examination 978-1-58510-990-6
$5.00

Quick Overview

"Colleagues who teach courses on contemporary France in French departments will be very pleased by the much-anticipated arrival of the fourth edition of Les Français, co-authored by Jean-François Brière and Julie Fette. While the updated version reflects the profound changes that have taken place in French society since the publication of the third edition in 2001, among them the effects of the digital revolution and the increasingly visible roles of women and minorities, the book remains faithful to the spirit of the book’s original author, Laurence Wylie. Unlike other textbooks on contemporary France, Les Français does not merely catalog recent events in French history. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which the history and traditions of French society and culture have shaped current attitudes toward a variety of issues, from the debates on laïcité to the laws on parité and le mariage pour tous. This historical and comparative perspective, which gives American students the tools to understand why the French think and behave differently from Americans, constitutes the greatest strength of the book, making it the foremost French-language textbook on contemporary France." —Venita Datta, Professor of French Studies, Wellesley College

OR

An eBook edition is also available (list price: $36.75), read more about Hackett eBook purchasing options here.


Thoroughly revised and updated to reflect changes in French society over the last generation, and now illustrated with full-color photos, the Fourth Edition of Les Français retains hallmarks of the pioneering work in cultural anthropology that distinguished Laurence Wylie's First Edition—work that has long since helped make Les Français the most illuminating French-language introduction to French society and culture for the needs of North American students.  The Fourth Edition also remains rooted in the comparative approach of previous editions, analyzing outlooks and practices that undergird the social fabric of France from the perspective of those approaching them from a North American background.  Ranging from discussions of distinctively French perspectives on time, space, human nature, and the body, to norms of childhood socialization and family life, to the key elements and entities of social and cultural life, Les Français illustrates ways in which the French are "made not born," all while pointing up contradictions and paradoxes in French life and reflecting the greatly diversified demographic and social makeup of today's France.

Reviews:

"Colleagues who teach courses on contemporary France in French departments will be very pleased by the much-anticipated arrival of the fourth edition of Les Français, co-authored by Jean-François Brière and Julie Fette. While the updated version reflects the profound changes that have taken place in French society since the publication of the third edition in 2001, among them the effects of the digital revolution and the increasingly visible roles of women and minorities, the book remains faithful to the spirit of the book’s original author, Laurence Wylie. Unlike other textbooks on contemporary France, Les Français does not merely catalog recent events in French history. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which the history and traditions of French society and culture have shaped current attitudes toward a variety of issues, from the debates on laïcité to the laws on parité and le mariage pour tous. This historical and comparative perspective, which gives American students the tools to understand why the French think and behave differently from Americans, constitutes the greatest strength of the book, making it the foremost French-language textbook on contemporary France."
     —Venita Datta, Professor of French Studies, Wellesley College

"France and the United States—‘exceptional’ models of revolutionary and universalist thought, ever allies yet seemingly always rivals—continue to invite spirited comparison in the twenty-first century. The authors of Les Français offer a new, full-color edition that will spark debate and greater self-reflection among American undergraduates."
     —Jonathan Gosnell, Professor of French Studies, Smith College

"Les Français gives my students deep insights into French culture, into what a different cultural system really is about, and helps them understand—unlike any other book I know—why French and American people approach life at times so differently, while still sharing fundamental underlying values. The level of French is perfect for advanced undergraduate coursework and provides a critical introduction to French society, institutions, and political life. In this fourth edition, new perspectives are seamlessly integrated into timeless material, and judicious care is given to the language."
     —Janet Horne, Associate Professor of French, University of Virginia


About the Authors:

Julie Fette is Associate Professor of French Studies, Rice University.

Jean-François Brière is Professor Emeritus of French Studies, University at Albany, State University of New York.

Laurence Wylie was C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France, Harvard University