I mean, with a title like this, how could this not be terrific. It IS terrific.
Must be hard to keep your tongue in your cheek for 543 pages, but Stephen Clarke manages to do so. With classic British humor (and much more) Clarke takes us through the conventional wisdom as foisted upon us by the French and flays, eviscerates, and fillets it. I haven't had a book make me laugh out loud so much in ages.
Starting with the Norman Conquest of 1066 Clarke takes the French to task for their interpretation of the key events of history between France, England, and (sometimes) America. Clarke is an unabashed Brit and the French view of the world suffers greatly under his watchful eye and love of irony.
From Joan of Arc to Charles de Gaulle, the French get it in the neck. Joan, sold by the French to the English. De Gaulle, so untrustworthy that even he did not know about the Normandy landings. Those great French pastries, invented in Vienna by the Viennese. The guillotine, invented in Halifax. Napolean's conquest of Eqypt, lost his entire fleet in the harbor and left his army stranded while he tottered back to France. Oh, and the hits just keep on coming.
So, if you are as much as a fan as I am regarding French politics, French waiters, the French sense of their destiny and place in the world order....you are going to absolutely love this book.