France

The idea that American-born children need to learn French has become more reflex than action, like classical music played at the wedding of people who live to modern pop.

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How many biscuits did it take to beat Napoleon? 83,428.

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This piece first appeared on newstatesman.com. The Passage de la Main d’Or, half a mile or so from the Place de la Bastille, is a nondescript, narrow street in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, which these days is a fairly chic quarter in eastern Paris. Halfway down the street is the Théâtre de la Main d’Or, a tiny theatre-cum-cabaret.

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Nicolas Anelka might regret the goal he scored on Monday: The French soccer star ignited a global controversy when, celebrating, he struck a pose that may be based on the Nazi salute.

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France's law prohibiting "incitement to hatred" is itself an incitement to hatred.

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This, apparently, is how diplomacy happens these days: Someone makes an off-hand remark at a press conference and triggers an international chain reaction that turns an already chaotic and complex situation completely on its head, and gives everyone a sense that, perhaps, this is the light at the end of the indecision tunnel. 

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Surrender Monkeys Become Interventionist Gorillas!

Paris has become Europe's leading hawk. It actually isn't an anomaly

With the British parliament’s no vote on Syria intervention, France has become President Obama’s most important ally as he plans strikes against Bashar Assad’s regime. And if the U.S. Congress follows in the footsteps of their British counterparts and votes against a military operation, France would emerge as the major military power most willing to intervene to punish the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

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In The Art of Sleeping Alone: Why One French Woman Gave Up Sex, the journalist and editor Sophie Fontanell ... well, the title says it all. The book has been somewhat of a sensation in Europe, and it has now been excerpted in The New York Times.

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Nowhere else in France, or on the parcours of the Tour de France, quite matches Mont Ventoux. What Edith Wharton called "the sublimest object in Provence” rises as if out of nowhere to tower 6,272 feet above the surrounding plains, magnificent and awe-inspiring. She might have added “the scariest object” if she had tried going up it on two wheels, but there is no evidence that the author of The Age of Innocence rode a racing bike up the great mountain. 

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Biking as Bloodsport

When the Tour de France turns violent

A brief history of violence at cycling's greatest race.

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