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Posted: 8/7/2005 4:40:30 PM EDT
This is a book by Harold Giles Unger. It`s a historical review of American-French relations since before the american revolution. Basically, the french tried using the american revolution to regain Canada and their other north american possessions. They also sought to make the new US economically militarily dependent on France- in effect their vassal state. They tried diligently through successive governments to control or dismember the US and failed.

The author goes on to explain this as their underlying opposition to us in the Iraq war. That france basically knows better than us and because of that they remain an important nation. He also explains the french attitude and how it developed from the middle ages on. It`s a quick, but good read and explains a lot of the recent international screwiness of the french.

Unger also points out the french still have no understanding of the American mind set, and they really hate when we`re right!

Available at Barnes & Noble.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:39:13 PM EDT
I dont have to read the book to know I should hate the french. As George Patton once said "Id rather have two german divisions in front of me then one french behind me"
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:08:52 AM EDT

I dont have to read the book to know I should hate the french. As George Patton once said "Id rather have two german divisions in front of me then one french behind me"

One should always take quotes like this in context, not remove them from it. Patton was also a bit of a Francophile, spoke fluent French and spent considerable time in France before and after the First World War. He attended the famous French Cavalry School at Saumur, twice. During his return to France with the AEF in 1918, he "visited Napoleon's tomb and kissed his sword." (See Carlo D'Este,"Patton: A Genius for War," p. 193.) Recall Patton's reference to "the gallant French who are at heart sympathetic toward us" before the Torch landings. (See "The Patton Papers," compiled by Martin Blumenson, p. 102.) In fact, he uses the term "gallant" rather often during his time in Morocco while in the company of the French, and made considerable use of those FF divisions under his command during and immediately after Cobra. The only incident that patton related in his papers was a falling out with LeClerc on the 2nd entering Paris first, after which Patton noted "I told him in perfect French he was being a baby...we parted friends."

BTW- Where did the "divisions" quote you cite come from? Perhaps I can dig it out and contextualize it a bit better.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:16:11 AM EDT
One more thing- while i haven't read Mr. Unger's work, you don't suppose he might have a bit of an axe to grind, do you? While we have had tense times with France- especially in the early years of the Republic- true animosity didn't begin to rise until the post-war period when France (and in no small part Charles De Gaulle, specifically) was having a hard time being a declining power while the "American Empire" was ascendent. Lot's of folks are writing books on this war telling people what they want to hear in order to make a quick buck. I won't judge this work or Mr. Ungar before i read it, but works pointed towards such a specific argument often tend to be a bit suspect in both scholarship and partisanship. Remember Mike Bellesailes "Arming America?
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 8:21:26 AM EDT
Actually this author is pretty well acquainted with the french. According to the book jacket, he lived in France for many years. He apparently got access to the foreign ministry records of both the King, the revolutionary regime` and the Napoleonic period. He was pretty surprised by if I read the book right. Especially the consistency of the policy toward the US over a 100 year period.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 1:08:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 1:09:36 PM EDT by Joaquin]
(arbob, sounds like a very interesting book, thanks for brining it to our attention)
btw, it's Harlow Giles Unger not Harold.

from Amazon:

From the Inside Flap
By the end of 1798, France—"our oldest ally"—had captured or sunk more than eight hundred American ships, and President John Adams called George Washington out of retirement to command the defense of the nation's shores against imminent French invasion. The French war against America had reached its climax. After thirty-five years of feigning friendship for America, France at last revealed her real motive for supporting the American Revolution—and it had nothing to do with liberty.

In The French War Against America, award-winning author and historian Harlow Giles Unger shatters the myth of France as our oldest ally and reveals her as our oldest enemy. Citing hundreds of secret and not-so-secret personal and official documents and letters from French, American, and British sources, Unger lays bare a chapter of American history ignored by many historians: the long and treacherous French plot to recapture North America.

Contrary to popular belief, the French Army came to fight in America's Revolutionary War not to save America but to conquer her. By infiltrating the Continental Army high command, French officers hoped to replace Washington and establish a French military dictatorship. By war's end, French agents had infiltrated every area of American life, developing close relationships with top American officials, working their way to the highest levels of the American military, and bribing cabinet members to obtain secret documents—all to try to turn the young nation into a French vassal state. From the beginning of the war, however, a small group of courageous Founding Fathers had remained suspicious of French motives. This action-packed history follows them—Washington, Adams, John Jay, and others—as they outwit every overt and covert French plot to destroy the United States.

A decade after the American Revolution, French government agents tried to overthrow President Washington by provoking widespread street rioting, while French warships occupied the harbors of major cities. Again, the Founding Fathers outwitted the French. Furious at their nation's humiliation, the French Navy began sinking American ships to crush American foreign trade. John Adams ordered construction of an American Navy that destroyed the French fleet. Undeterred, the French continued to plot to reconquer North America into the next century. Napoleon I prepared to send 20,000 troops to invade Louisiana in 1802, and his nephew Napoleon III sent 40,000 troops to conquer Mexico in 1863, with orders to march northward into the United States.

To this day, "our oldest ally" often seems still at war with America—metaphorically and diplomatically, if not militarily. The French War Against America provides new perspectives on the origins of that war and explains why it may never end. An important addition to Franco-American history, it adds new insights into current diplomatic relationships. It is also an exciting, action-filled drama of remarkable human courage.

Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:03:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Joaquin:
(arbob, sounds like a very interesting book, thanks for brining it to our attention)
btw, it's Harlow Giles Unger not Harold.

OOPS! My bad, you`re right.

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