Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's a tautology

French Offensive
We always knew that we would strike a few nerves with Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. We certainly never expected anything but a negative review from the New York Times let alone from a hotshot French intellectual like Bernard-Henri Levy.

But judging from Levy's fulminations in the Times on Sunday, we didn't just strike a few nerves — we're actually pushing people over the edge.

In his one-page critique, Levy hurls just about every hysterical epithet he can find in our direction. He accuses us of "racism" and "Francophobia." He calls our book "nauseating," "fantastical," "grotesque," and in competition for the "grand prize in stupidity." He even compares what we've written to "the fascist French literature of the 1930s."

Now that's a curious putdown, comparing us to the French.

The only thing more curious may be the fact that before Levy goes diving off the deep end, he concedes so much of our argument. He readily admits that French anti-Americanism is "lodged in the heart of my country's culture." He even calls our historical account of Franco-American diplomatic relations — which is to say, the vast majority of our book — "a more or less fair re-evaluation."
More Gallic hilarity by following the link. But Mark Twain gets the last word.