First of all, you have to remember that France and Great Britain were coming off a long, fierce war that had already drained vast resources from both sides, the "Seven Years War," or "French and Indian War," which was really the first world war. That war is considered by historians to be just as important as the later world wars, in shaping the modern world. A brief recap:
Secondly, France didn't enter the Revolutionary War on our side, until the colonies had won important victories, and France was convinced that Britain was on the ropes. In other words, they "piled on" after the fight was mostly won, and had to be cleverly persuaded by the brilliant Ben Franklin to help out at all. It is true, they won an important sea-battle for us when we had no navy, and the Brits had the most powerful Navy in the world, by far. French naval forces defeated the Royal Navy on September 5th, 1781, in a surprise-attack at the Battle of the Chesapeake, cutting off Cornwallis's supplies and transport.
The French had been helping to supply the starving, often freezing Colonial Army for several years, but when they sent in 5000 seasoned troops to help out at what became the pivotal Battle of Yorktown, that turned the tide once and for all, and shortened the war most definitely, as that colossal loss by Cornwallis', and the surrender of his large army, spelled the end of popular support for the war in England while serving as a huge morale-booster for the Americans.
I'm looking forward to reading this book, "Our Oldest Enemy," just to review the timeline of French perfidy, and perhaps to understand better our current positions in regards to each other. There is no doubt in my mind, that France is attempting to build and maintain an anti-American nexus in Europe, to counteract "American hegemony" in the world, which is a fanciful concept in the first place(ever heard of China?). The review at Amazon.com, where I placed my order the other day:
Americans were shocked when French president Jacques Chirac played a leading role in opposing America’s position during the Iraq crisis. In OUR OLDEST ENEMY, the authors demonstrate that France has never been our friend, has always been our rival, and has often been our enemy.
Miller and Molesky return to America’s earliest history, relating the little-known story of the Deerfield Massacre of 1704, when a group of French and Indians massacred settlers in northern Massachusetts. They show that the French came to America’s aid only at the end of the Revolution and then with the interest of harming the British; during the Civil War, they supported the Confederacy. In the twentieth century, French demands at the Versailles Peace Conference paved the way for the rise of fascism in Germany and eventually required America to rescue France during World War II. The postwar period was also rife with disastrous actions on the part of the French, including Charles de Gaulle’s decision to pull out of NATO and his obstruction of American efforts to turn back Soviet expansion. French imperialism left troubling legacies as well: America’s involvement in Vietnam followed decades of conflict between the French and the Vietnamese; the genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot was a product of French higher education; even the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq can be traced to French influences.
Candid and absorbing, OUR OLDEST ENEMY provides an authoritative explanation for the explosive anger toward France that has swept across America and continues to shape debates about our foreign policy and role in the world.
Other books I'm considering purchasing, at their suggestion, is long-time France-based reporter Kenneth Timmerman's "The French Betrayal of America," and "Anti-Americanism," by Jean Francois Revel, a Frenchman who has come to our defense before, in his landmark '72 tome "Without Marx or Jesus," which was a spirited defense of America at a time when our world-popularity was at an all-time low.
France has always been the most Machiavellian society in the West, with every political move carefully designed to enhance her interests. I could reel off a list of other sins, but I think American author Mark Twain(who never cut his own government any slack, either) put it best:
"France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France."
Okay, since you asked, here are 10,943 other reasons why France sucks:
According to the American Battle Monuments Commission, there are 26,255 Yankee dead from World War I buried in 4 cemeteries in France. There are 30,426 American dead from World War II buried in 6 cemeteries in France.
These 56,681 brave American heroes died in their youth to liberate a country which is guilty of shameful, unspeakable behavior in the 21st century. May the people of the United States of America never forget their sacrifice, or France's utter lack of gratitude.
Typical of French perfidiousness, after we liberated them from the Germans, they merely declared the Vichy Government which collaborated wonderfully with the Germans, helping to kill as many Jews as possible given the limited time-constraints, an "illegal government." Therefore, the "real" French government of DeGaulle which followed had no responsibility whatsoever for their war-crimes! LOL! Now, we find out they were still holding many POW's in French concentration camps, after the Germans had been ousted, and many of those Brits and Americans died, to try and keep a lid on the story of France's shameful collaboration with the Germans.
Some more opinions on France:
"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." ---Mark Twain
"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --- General George S. Patton
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --- Norman Schwartzkopf
"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." ---- Marge Simpson
"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure." ---Jacques Chirac, President of France
"As far as France is concerned, you're right." ---Rush Limbaugh
"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." --- Regis Philbin
"The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore.
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." --- P.J O'Rourke (1989)
"You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it." ---John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona
"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people ---Conan O'Brien
"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the Germans out of France!" ---Jay Leno
"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag." ---David Letterman