When A Bookstore Closes, An Argument Ends

June 12, 2015 – La Hune, in Paris, is to close this week. Its end is a deep loss to me, and to civil society.

Why an Imperfect Version of Proust is a Classic in English

March 30, 2015 – It’s mostly thanks to C. K. Scott Moncrieff that Proust’s “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu” is part of the common reader’s experience in English.

The Next Thing

January 26, 2015 – The author of “Submission” has been called Islamophobic, but France is the real object of his derision.

The Outside Game

January 4, 2015 – From drug use to queer theory, Howard Becker changed the way we think about deviance. 

The Fires of Paris

December 22, 2014 – Why do people still fight about the Paris Commune? A new history by John Merriman tells the hour-by-hour story of the 1871 Commune’s rise and fall.

The View from a Bridge

December 8, 2014 – Too much polish, too much kitsch: Adam on how shopping, tourism, and luxury are changing Paris.

What De Gaulle Won on D Day

June 6, 2014 – De Gaulle did limited good for the American empire, but immense good for the cause of republican government.

Manuel Valls’s Rise and France’s Crisis

April 6, 2014 – Manuel Valls is impressive, but his future as France’s Prime Minister is as full of traps as the Hunger Games.

The D.S.K. Affair

May 15, 2011 – The head of the I.M.F., long time French socialist politician and the leading cadidate to oppose President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's election, has been arrested for attempted rape here in New York – and taken off a plane at J.F.K., at that– has shocked, overwhelmed, and generally bouleverséd all of Paris.

No Rules!

April 5, 2010 – Is "Le Fooding", the French culinary movement, more than a feeling? At some moments, Le Fooding seems earnest, in the manner of the Slow Food movement; at others, it is merely festive, a good-time gang; at still others, it appears determined to wrench the entire culture of good food in France.

Sarkozy in New York

September 25, 2009 – The French community of New York, or a tranche of it, came out on Wednesday to hear President Nicolas Sarkozy address them on the occasion of his visit to New York.


Fly on the Wall

May 19, 2008 – Yasmina Reza, the French playwright, was in town last week, talking about her newly translated book on Nicolas Sarkozy, entitled “Dawn, Dusk, and Night.”

Love and Politics

January 28, 2008 – Comment about French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian model Carla Bruni.

The Human Bomb

August 27, 2007 – To understand Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been President of France for three months, it helps to know the story of the human bomb.

Headless Horsemen

June 5, 2006 – A look at The Reign of Terror in France from a revisionist historical perspective.

Voltaire's Garden

March 7, 2005 – Review of Ian Davidson’s “Voltaire in Exile."

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The Anti-Anti-Americans

September 1, 2003 – It was a summer of obsessions in France. All summer long, Paris was intermittently spectacular and spectacularly intermittent. Even the brightest spectacles came and then, abruptly, went.

French Follies

May 6, 2002 – comment about right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen’s strong showing in the first-round French presidential elections... Le Pen’s National Front victory, his finishing second, ahead of Jospin-with seventeen per cent of the vote, in a field of more than a dozen candidates-and taking his place

The Good Soldier

November 24, 1997 – In France Napoleon remains a great man. The darker view has been around for just as long, and, not surprisingly, gets its biggest play in England, where Napoleon has been pictured as a megalomaniacal dwarf ever since Gillray's caricatures. 

The Ghost of the Glass House

May 9, 1994 – The Maison de Verre–the Glass House was built in 1931 by a minor French interior decorator named Pierre Chareau, who designed it and all its furnishings, never built another house in France, and died forgotten and alone in New York in 1950.