Teach Yourself World Cultures: France by Celia Dixie
Are the French really the best lovers in the world? Who invented haute couture ? Who said Je pense donc je suis ( I think therefore I am )? Do they still spend hours at the dinner table?This book answers these questions, and many more, in a concise and lively overview of France: the country, its languages, its people, their way of life and culture and what makes them tick. If you are studying for examinations which require a knowledge of the background of France and its civilisation, or if you are learning the language, in, for example, an evening class and want to know more about the country, this is the book for you. If your job involves travel and business relations, it will provide valuable and practical information about the ways and customs of the people you are working with. Or if you simply have an interest in France for whatever reason, it will broaden your knowledge about the country and its inhabitants.The book is divided into three sections. Chapters One and Two deal with the forces historical, geographical, geological, demographical and linguistic that have brought about the formation of the country we know as France and the language we know as French. Chapters Three to Eight deal with the wealth of creative aspects of French culture from the beginnings to the present day. These chapters take a look at the main areas or works of literature, art and architecture, music, traditions and festivals, science and technology, fashion, and food and drink, together with the people who have created and are still creating them. The remaining chapters deal with aspects of contemporary French society and the practicalities of living in present-day France: the way the political structure of the country is organized, education, the environment, the workplace and how people spend their leisure time. Each chapter ends with a section entitled Taking it Further , where you will find useful addresses, websites, suggested places to visit and things to see and do. Each chapter also contains a list of useful words and phrases which will help you to talk or write about the subject in question. The new edition takes into account any developments in French culture and society, such as the introduction of the euro, which have occurred since first publication.