Fascination and Misgivings
Through the views of French travelers and diverse French studies about the United States, this book shows that the US took a pivotal place in French consciousness during the second half of the nineteenth century. The American landscape, skyscrapers, and the presence of Native and African Americans were puzzling and exotic to the French. At the same time, towns and industry were proof of an emerging economic power. Meanwhile, the French people found attractive models of social engineering in American society: schools and universities, the changing role of women, the emergence of the middle class. Even before World War I, the US found its place in French opinion, following trends that were to continue throughout the twentieth century: fascination and misgivings, attraction and repulsion.