Friday, September 21, 2007
For my part I hope that every aspirant has read ‘That Sweet Enemy’, a remarkable book about the relationship between France and Britain since the wars of the Sun King Louise XIV. If you want to understand how France sees the world in a different way to people of British tradition, and how this complicates and mediates the politics of the European Community. A hugely good read, not only a compendium of wars but also of changing cultural influences and how stereotypes can shift or get reborn. How for example did rare beefsteaks shift from being a disgusting example of english cookery butchery to being the signature comfort food dish of France?
There are some sobering points raised for any supporter of European Union and for anyone hoping to evolve a more positive European engagement for Britain in our European home.
Written by two historians who happen to be married to each other, One French the other British.
Isabelle and Robert Tombs ‘That Sweet Enemy’ (Cette exquise ennemi) has numerous reviews, notably in 'Foreign Affairs', 'European Affairs' and the 'New York Review of Books'
candidates, dont get caught out at public histings by people who have read this if you haven't read it yourself!