Week 1: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Introduction

An introduction to our year of study.
What is unique about France?
How does France and the French story differ from other European nations?
How much does geography and the physical space determine the nature of France?

REQUIRED READING:

Here is an excellent general history of France that will be very useful for our entire year.

Alistair Horne,

La Belle France,

Vintage paperbacks,

ISBN 1400034876

Reviews

"Fascinating. . . . Engaging. . . . Filled with 'hot-blooded' kings, royal mistressesÉand tales of cruelty, treachery and even, occasionally, heart-warming loyalty."

–San Francisco Chronicle

"[Horne] is a virtuoso of the character sketch and the illuminating vignette. . . . La Belle France, with its refreshingly subjective style, possesses more treasures than a whole wall full of textbooks."

–The Wall Street Journal

"A breathtaking tour of French history, from its earliest kings through the Mitterrand government. . . . There are few countries with a more fascinating history than France."

–The Seattle Times

"A useful and charming introduction to a nation that has oh-so-definitely helped make the modern world what it is. . . . Horne does a service in helping the reader navigate the complexities of French history."

–Los Angeles Times

PHOTOGRAPHY

A tour of France through the photography of Nat Collins, Chairman of the Board of the Institute, and of Nathan Bergeron, a Canadian photographer who lived in France in 2008.