Au Contraire!: Figuring Out the French

Gilles Asselin (Author) Ruth Mastron (Author)


"I find Au Contraire! delightfully validating - a great piece of work." - Nancy Bragard, Franco-American interculturalist, trainer and coachThe French are famously enigmatic: fiercely independent yet deeply romantic, conservative yet avant-garde, rational yet emotional. What is it, exactly, that makes the French so . . . French?

Written for anyone interacting with the French-tourists, businesspeople, international students, Francophiles-Au Contraire! offers a perceptive understanding of French cultural beliefs, assumptions and attitudes, along with practical advice on building strong personal and professional relationships with the French. Addressing issues like friendship, politics, work, education and romance, bilingual and bi cultural authors Asselin and Mastron draw upon their own experiences as consultants and trainers, as well as those of students and professionals, giving readers a complete-and compelling-look at French culture.

This revised edition of Au Contraire! includes updated information about France's changing social and political climate, advice for succeeding as an expat, information about the French educational system, overviews of France's diverse regions-and more.

Product Details

Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Publish Date
September 30, 2010
5.9 X 0.9 X 8.9 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Gilles Asselin, founder and executive director of New Jersey-based SoCoCo Intercultural, is a program designer, trainer and consultant who helps international executives and managers succeed when working across cultures. Ruth Mastron is vice-president of SoCoCo Intercultural and was formerly a liaison for overseas operations for various international corporations.


Give it three Michelin stars for both nourishing the mind and charming the heart.--George Simons, associate director, Diversophy France
This new edition rightly underlines the regional and cultural diversity that contributes to the charm of France. The authors have moved France far from the cliches of an old-fashioned country. Vive le dialogue interculturel!--Olivia Brunet, European Commission's Regions of Knowledge Programme
Au Contraire! takes you on a journey of not only uncovering cultural differences but understanding and appreciating these differences in practically every aspect of life-whether it is business, public, or private. . . . A must-read for anyone seeking to gain better insight into French culture
Mastron and Asselin have truly grasped the complex interfacing with Frenchculture. And nobody's right or wrong, just different! I find Au Contraire! delightfully validating - a great piece of work.--Nancy Bragard, Franco-American interculturalist, trainer and coach
Chock-full of practical examples, humor, and just the right amount of historical context, Au Contraire! is a valuable book for anyone working or living with the French. Even better than the first edition!--Natalie Lutz, intercultural trainer