Review of French Kiss

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Bron Bakers
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Review of French Kiss

Post by Bron Bakers »

[Following is an official review of "French Kiss" by Steve Bassett.]
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3 out of 5 stars
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French Kiss is a non-fiction work put together by Steve Bassett. In the book, the author highlights the views of several people, Americans and French alike, during the Cold War. The book depicts several themes, including sex, love, racism, and the adventures of people when they find themselves in a new social environment.

The U.S. Air Force came to France in 1951 to set up the Châteauroux Air Station (CHAS). CHAS provided a military base for the joint defense of the U.S. and France, or so it seemed. There were up to tens of thousands of American GIs operating through CHAS. Although Châteauroux wasn’t a place with much to be desired before the arrival of the Americans, the communists posed a form of resistance to the U.S. military forces. The communists used several media, including graffiti displaying hatred towards the Americans. However, the Americans were not going to turn back because of some paintings.

Many of the French locals, on the other hand, saw things slightly differently, especially when flashing a few dollar notes. The reader would find out, through several interviews, the exact opinions of the French towards these uninvited 16-year-old guests. The book also covers in detail the experiences of the American GIs and what they thought about their stay in the faraway Châteauroux.

I admired the effort of the author in putting this piece together. The author worked tirelessly for several years, conducting interviews to capture the views of Americans and French who lived during those times. I also liked how the interviews were described in the interviewee's own words. This provided an unadulterated version of the story.

I had some dislikes for this book. I did not enjoy how the writer kept replaying the same interviews in several chapters. I understand that in some cases, it was to corroborate certain points, but it became difficult to keep up with the story at some point. I thought the book could use a better arrangement of information. Additionally, I noticed a few editing issues while reading.

I rate this book three out of five stars because of the dislikes I stated above. However, I appreciate the author’s effort. I also acknowledge that this was a unique way to recall history and a beautiful piece of art. I recommend this book to history lovers and everyone interested in knowing some of the happenings between the French and Americans during the Cold War.

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Post by Joo_ji »

Such a fancy title for what sounds like a serious book. Yet, even at that, I do not doubt that much thinking had gone into it before being put to print. I am glad you lauded the efforts of the author in the end. On one side, we may want to consider the adage, "Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well," but we also have to realise that it is never an easy task writing a book on real events, especially ones that occured long ago in the pre-internet era. The traditional requirements of such an ambitious book, which involve seeking out both primary and secondary sources, interviewing living witnesses, roaching through official records, and such, are inconceivably tedious, if not maddening. In all, I appreciate your honest review of the book.
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Post by williams Emerald »

Your recommendation for history lovers and those interested in Cold War dynamics helps potential readers gauge if ‘French Kiss’ aligns with their interests. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this unique exploration of history.
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Post by Janson Ortega »

Your review has piqued my interest, and I'm eager to read the book now.
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