Book - French and Americans: The Other Shore

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Author of the book "French and Americans: the other shore", Pascal Baudry takes an original look at his compatriots and offers a comparative and forceful analysis of French and American cultures.

Book - French and Americans: The Other Shore

His view is that of a psychoanalyst and a Frenchman who has lived in the United States for more than twenty years. By observing American cultural traits, he seeks, by ricochet, to uncover hidden springs of French culture, and to identify their meanings and correspondences.

It is difficult to avoid prejudice, clichés and generalization when two cultures meet. The Franco-American dialogue is no exception to the rule. Perhaps it has even become emblematic of the difficulties of any intercultural communication. Regularly, a wave of anti-Americanism seizes the media, dragging the whole of France into the eternal refrain of "je t'aime moi non plus".

Are Americans both too close and too different from Europeans?

A country with a Protestant tradition, a land of welcome for dissidents in search of innovation, the United States of America has taken the liberal aspirations born in Europe very far. Of course, the path of the world's leading democracy and economic power has not been without fault and its capitalism may seem aggressive. Yet, because of the ideological foundations that presided over its birth and that it is still likely to embody, capitalism paradoxically appears to be the only tool that can perhaps fight poverty in the world.

For a long time, French society has been marked by strong cultural specificities: the importance of implicit, low individuation and unequal relationships, all norms that are the opposite of those conveyed by the American people. Today, the new generations of managers are better prepared for cultural diversity and more confident. But is this enough for French companies to shine in a globalized economy?

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