Joseph A. Harriss

Joseph A. Harriss is The American Spectator‘s Paris correspondent. His latest book is Jean Gabin: The Actor Who Was France (McFarland).


France: A Bad Case of Backlash


The French are a nation of incorrigible, rebellious frondeurs who resent those in power, whoever they might be. Sometimes the animosity turns viciously violent, as during the Jacquerie uprising of 1358, when overtaxed peasants went on a rampage against the nobility, one of whom they barbecued on a spit. In 1789 they had a new […]

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Racist, Moi?


Israel’s summer offensive against Hamas in Gaza sparked the predictable pro-Palestinian demonstrations across Europe. Organized by groups ranging from pro-Arab associations to far-left fringe parties, they were for the most part peaceful, but the Continent’s centuries-old anti-Semitism resurfaced in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy. In Paris they turned particularly ugly and vicious, with hateful […]

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Hollande’s Last Chance


Maybe the third try will be a charm for President François Hollande. After doggedly attempting to apply socialist dogma for his first two disastrous years in office and bringing the French economy to its knees, he reshuffled his cabinet again this summer. It has dawned even on this Socialist Party apparatchik that governing by tax-and-spend […]

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France’s Simmering Intifada


When gendarmes arrested seven Muslim militants in Strasbourg in a pre-dawn sweep last May, it was the first major move in the government’s stepped-up attempt to stem the flow of French jihadists to Syria to join al Qaeda’s fight against Bashar al-Assad. Not that France has any interest in propping up his regime, au contraire. […]

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The Shocking Monsieur Shakespeare


Bardolaters are enjoying a movable feast in this 450th anniversary year of William Shakespeare’s birth. It began appropriately enough in Stratford-upon-Avon last April with fireworks, a giant horse-drawn birthday cake, and the beflowering of his grave at Holy Trinity Church, after which the Royal Shakespeare Company performed Henry IV, Part 1. London’s Globe Theater is […]

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End of the European Dream?


Who says there’s anything wrong with the European Union? I mean, apart from the fact that it’s founded on little more than political hot air, that it’s profoundly undemocratic, that it struts and frets on the world stage, but, insecure about its own identity, is unable to muster either the will or the means to […]

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Mugging the Family


France’s pseudo-bolshevikian government has discovered a new problem in urgent need of a socialist solution: what to do about women. In the land where influential dames, if not dames,have for centuries dominated their menfolk beyond the wildest dreams of American feminists, where medieval knights were on their knees before their lady-loves while kings doted on […]

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Doing the Government Shuffle


President François Hollande, France’s most unpopular leader in the 56-year history of the Fifth Republic, has just been slapped upside the head with the worst electoral drubbing his Socialist Party — which he himself led for decades — has ever endured. In the second round of local elections last weekend it lost some 150 town […]

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No More Joy Girls In Paris?


France’s reputation for a relaxed attitude toward sex has long fed the world’s public opprobrium—and its secret fantasies. Mark Twain articulated the typical American attitude when he declared that “France has neither winter nor summer nor morals—apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.” Media exposure of the recent scooter-borne nocturnal tomcatting by France’s […]

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Conflicted Over Ukraine


To understand Europe’s confused, conflicted reaction to Vladimir Putin’s brazen grab of real estate in its own back yard, look no further than the DCNS shipyards in the city of Saint Nazaire on France’s Atlantic coast. There riding at anchor is the pride of the French navy. A new model warship designed for the sort […]

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