France is a seductive country, seductive in its elegance, its beauty, its sensual pleasures, and its joie de vivre. Elaine Sciolino, the longtime Paris bureau chief of The New York Times, has discovered that seduction is much more. It is the key to understanding France and plays a crucial role not only in how the French fall in love, but also in how they conduct business, enjoy food and drink, define style, engage in intellectual debate, elect politicians, and project power around the world. In La Seduction, Sciolino gives us an inside view of how seduction works in all areas of French life, from the shops of Paris to the halls of government, from the gardens of Versailles to the agricultural heartland.
In a new preface written for the paperback edition, Sciolino shows how the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case has thrust France into a searching debate about the future of seduction and the culture of pleasure, which cuts to the heart of France’s national identity. In this as in every other aspect of French life, Elaine Sciolino proves herself to be a charming, insightful, and—yes—seductive guide.