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Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French

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Coca-Cola ran headlong into French culture when a hardcore, bottom-line management style met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. Even Mickey Mouse met angry protesters hurling tomatoes and eggs when joining Michael Eisner to launch Euro Disney's arrival on the Paris stock market. What makes the French so...well, French? Coca-Cola ran headlong into French culture when a hardcore, bottom-line management style met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. Even Mickey Mouse met angry protesters hurling tomatoes and eggs when joining Michael Eisner to launch Euro Disney's arrival on the Paris stock market. What makes the French so...well, French?


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Coca-Cola ran headlong into French culture when a hardcore, bottom-line management style met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. Even Mickey Mouse met angry protesters hurling tomatoes and eggs when joining Michael Eisner to launch Euro Disney's arrival on the Paris stock market. What makes the French so...well, French? Coca-Cola ran headlong into French culture when a hardcore, bottom-line management style met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. Even Mickey Mouse met angry protesters hurling tomatoes and eggs when joining Michael Eisner to launch Euro Disney's arrival on the Paris stock market. What makes the French so...well, French?

30 review for Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darya Conmigo

    A curious read, mostly written for expats working in an international company. A good look not only at the French culture, but also at the American culture through the prism of French values. It's what I always liked about anthropology and works close to it: by discovering different ways of seeing the world, you quickly discover that you also think of the world in particular ways based on your culture and, ultimately, might even start to question it. A really good read for anyone who wants to und A curious read, mostly written for expats working in an international company. A good look not only at the French culture, but also at the American culture through the prism of French values. It's what I always liked about anthropology and works close to it: by discovering different ways of seeing the world, you quickly discover that you also think of the world in particular ways based on your culture and, ultimately, might even start to question it. A really good read for anyone who wants to understand and adapt to the French way of life. I'd read it if I were moving to France.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Keith Lawrence

    This book was a great help to me as an American visiting Paris for the first time. It made me mindful of being respectful as a foreigner and I was treated well because of it. It was fascinating to see the change in the people of Paris from day to night, or from work time to play time. They are so passionate about being with their friends. Amazing. Anyway, the book was a great help in navigating the people on my little trip. It was easy and fun and informative.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ebert

    I really enjoyed this read. My French and American friends loved hearing my book quotes during our quarantine FaceTime sessions. Having moved to Montreal from Hamburg many years ago, I wish there was a German Canadian equivalent.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jade Liu

    Interesting perspective on the differences between French and American culture. This book is intended for potential expats in managerial positions and goes into a lot of detail about business management practices in intercultural situations. It encourages individuals to shed one's preexisting world views and be receptive to other ways of thinking. Doing so, the authors emphasize, does not necessitate assimilation but rather understanding and collaboration. As a Chinese-American spending my secon Interesting perspective on the differences between French and American culture. This book is intended for potential expats in managerial positions and goes into a lot of detail about business management practices in intercultural situations. It encourages individuals to shed one's preexisting world views and be receptive to other ways of thinking. Doing so, the authors emphasize, does not necessitate assimilation but rather understanding and collaboration. As a Chinese-American spending my second year in France, a lot of the differences mentioned in the book, especially with regards to gender relationships and workplace hierarchy, are things I've noticed but have never treated as barriers causing potential misunderstandings. Therefore, although I find this book way too focused on business and politics for my liking, I nevertheless appreciate it for bringing latent issues to the open.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I know this is supposed to be a book about French culture, but I learned a lot about American culture from reading this. How typically self-centered American of me, I suppose. The book is aimed towards explaining French culture for the purpose of business relations and from a cross-cultural view with that of Americans. I am far from qualified to say whether or not the descriptions of the French were accurate, I'm sure there are lots of generalizations in this text about the French (just as there I know this is supposed to be a book about French culture, but I learned a lot about American culture from reading this. How typically self-centered American of me, I suppose. The book is aimed towards explaining French culture for the purpose of business relations and from a cross-cultural view with that of Americans. I am far from qualified to say whether or not the descriptions of the French were accurate, I'm sure there are lots of generalizations in this text about the French (just as there are about Americans). The general views and values of the U.S. they described were pretty accurate though, in my opinion, and explained a lot about why there is such a love/hate relationship between France & the U.S. An interesting read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Waters

    This was an eye-opener. It explains a lot of my experiences doing business with customers and colleagues in France over the years. Eastern Canada, too, now that I think of it. I'm not saying that your mutual frustrations will disappear overnight, but will certainly be cut by 50% in the short term. If you are French interacting with Americans or Americans interacting with the French, you must read this book. Take off your blue colored glasses before putting on your counterpart's yellow colored glass This was an eye-opener. It explains a lot of my experiences doing business with customers and colleagues in France over the years. Eastern Canada, too, now that I think of it. I'm not saying that your mutual frustrations will disappear overnight, but will certainly be cut by 50% in the short term. If you are French interacting with Americans or Americans interacting with the French, you must read this book. Take off your blue colored glasses before putting on your counterpart's yellow colored glasses!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Megan Plaumann

    Really learned a lot about American culture as well as French culture. It was fascinating to learn why the French are French. Especially how Americans grow up believing French are this way and that way and never really knowing why..well this book explained why the French are French in the best way! Though the second part of the book is directed more towards a company who is working with French people, it was still very ineteresting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shae

    If you're thinking of moving to France, read this book first. It probably won't change your mind, but it can give you some insight as to what to expect. Written in a way that's easy to follow and understand even though some information heavy topics are covered. If you're thinking of moving to France, read this book first. It probably won't change your mind, but it can give you some insight as to what to expect. Written in a way that's easy to follow and understand even though some information heavy topics are covered.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Cameron

    Lots of good information here and its very well-written and organized, but it tries a little bit too hard to be complete and it becomes a little bit dry. It also felt very targeted at people with a severe American-centric world view. They really chew up every difference for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Tomaloff

    This was the required text for my French class. This book is terribly inconsistent and repetitive. The generalizations are enough to make a person crazy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jer

    Recommended by Derek Sivers, along with "A Geek In Japan" Recommended by Derek Sivers, along with "A Geek In Japan"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    As many times as I've traveled to France, there is still more to learn. A bit dry. As many times as I've traveled to France, there is still more to learn. A bit dry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    I didn't finish this book, but the third that I read was interesting! I definitely learned some interesting cultural differences that helped me on my trip to Paris! I didn't finish this book, but the third that I read was interesting! I definitely learned some interesting cultural differences that helped me on my trip to Paris!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chaabouni Nadia

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Giden

  18. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hung Nguyen

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brooklyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Elizabeth

  22. 4 out of 5

    Davy Gerichten

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Snider

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wayne King

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Walker

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hassene Ben Salem

  29. 4 out of 5

    Moises

  30. 5 out of 5

    Halston

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