Author(s): Elaine Sciolino
France is a seductive country, seductive in its elegance, its beauty, its sensual pleasures, and its joie de vivre. But Elaine Sciolino reveals that seduction is much more than a game to the French: it is the key to understanding France. Seduction lies at the essence of the French approach to human relations, and it is the ever-present subtext for how the French relate to one another - not just in romantic relationships 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. From gardeners to politicians, waiters to sportspeople, academics to farmers, all levels of French society employ seduction, in myriad forms, to conduct day to day life. While sexual repartee and conquest remain at the heart of seduction, for the French seduction has become a philosophy of life, even an ideology. In La Seduction, Sciolino gives us an inside view of how seduction works, analysing its limits as well as its power. She examines the French way of life in an entertaining and personal narrative that carries us from the neighbourhood shops of Paris to the halls of government, from the gardens of Versailles to the agricultural heartland. La Seduction is a vital tool in understanding France and in demystifying a nation which has seduced so many.
Elaine Sciolino is the author of the award-winning book Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran. She is Paris correspondent and bureau chief for The New York Times. In 2010, she was decorated a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. She lives in Paris with her husband.