A cultural portrait of contemporary France and its people that dispels persistent stereotypes and myths


Through French Windows is a journey into contemporary French culture and society. By describing the country's education, religion, politics, finances, technology and telecommunications, and social and ethical issues, Corbett draws a portrait of present-day France.

The author provides background information necessary for understanding the changes that continue to evolve. Corbett conscientiously avoids the traditional and simplistic means of portraying France that emphasizes the cultural heritage of the country. Instead he provides an insider's view of France, separating that mythic image from the current reality. Further, he presents an accurate portrayal of the diversity of France by moving beyond the typical dichotomy between Paris and the rest of the country or the oversimplification of dividing the country into north and south.

"Corbett's view does not reply the romantic image American tourists have of France. . . . a lively guide to a more chic, modern France. . . . This is a thorough but not impartial observation; in looking at the business of everything, even elitism, Corbett proffers a distinct, knowledgeable, and current view of France. Business competitors and pleasure travelers alike can learn a great deal . . . ."

- Booklist

"Corbett's is that rarest of all books: a sociological treatise that is also entirely readable. . . . The book is as enjoyable as it is informative, but by far its greatest strength is Corbett's careful and spirited description of even the most mundane subject. No other author has, for example, outlined France's baffling educational system with such intense clarity and caution. For these reasons it is recommended to all readers interested in modern France."

- Choice

"Through French Windows achieves a dual purpose of appealing both to newcomers and to experienced observers of French culture. It provides a survey of recent developments together with an interpretive dimension that brings the subject alive. While it is a work of general interest written for the non-specialist, it is also a perceptive and insightful resource useful to those teaching about contemporary France."
French Review

- French Review

"Through French Windows will thus be welcome by American readers who have a desire or need to be acquainted with recent social changes in France. Written by an American who is a longtime resident of France, it provides a highly readable synthesis of evolving issues in many areas of contemporary French life."
—Alice J. Strange, French Review

- Alice J. Strange