50ReasonsToHateTheFrench.co.uk - Humorous book on France and French history, by Jules Eden & Alex Clarke

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PATENTLY WRONG - Are the great inventions of the world… French?

At the unveiling of the new Airbus A380 in 2004, President Chirac startled the press by claiming that an obscure Frenchman, Clément Ader, invented powered flight. When it comes to the great inventions of the world, French schools, universities and information websites like to rewrite history.

FRANCE'S INTERNET - Minitel - the 2CV of Information Technology

In the 1980s, France thought it had stolen a lead on world telecommunications - with Minitel. Today, this clunky pre-Internet communications system has been blamed for the national phone company's gigantic debt and the growth of a bizarre porn industry.


Why does France dominate the ranks of Nobel Laureates for Literature? And yet feature so poorly in all the other categories?

THE ARROW STICK - France's Flights of Fancy No. 1: Concorde

Vanity comes before a fall. Despite hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money, Concorde came to earth as a commercial failure.

…AND THE ELEPHANT - France's Flights of Fancy No. 1: Airbus A380

Will Concorde's successor, the Airbus A380, be the new white Elephant of the Skies?

FRANCE'S FRUIT MACHINE - The E.U. and the Common Agricultural Policy

From the start, the European Union has been a French-dominated affair. For all the talk of "organic unity" and "common interest", it often seems to be an instrument for the interests of France alone.

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