Charles Cogan, French Negotiating Behavior: Dealing with Le Grande Nation (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2003), 344 pp., $14.87.
Thomas Cantaloube and Henri Vernet, Chirac contre Bush: l'Autre Guerre (Chirac against Bush: The Other War) (Paris: Jean-Claude Lattes, 2004), 349 pp., €18.
John J. Miller and Mark Molesky, Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 294 pp., $24.95.
Nicolas Sarkozy et al., La Republique, les Religions, l'Esperance (The Republic, Religions, Hope) (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2004), 172 pp., €17.
Dominique de Villepin, Le Requin et La Mouette (The Shark and the Seagull) (Paris: Plon, 2004), 260 pp., €19.
Dominique de Villepin et al., Un Autre Monde (An Alternative World) (Paris: L'Herne, 2003), 668 pp., €26.50.
Last October, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, published a report, originally commissioned by then-Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, on the grim economic prospects of his native France. Despite the country's impressive achievements in aerospace, nuclear power and high-speed trains, Camdessus warned that without almost revolutionary change in working hours, taxation, higher education and the welfare system, the decline of France would become unstoppable.
"A serious syndrome of denial is setting in which curbs all but superficial reforms", Camdessus concluded, pointing to a decade of low growth and high unemployment. "But the fact is that we are indeed stalling, and if nothing is done to overcome the pernicious phenomena that we have observed, in about ten years time it will lead to an irreversible situation."