Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another New French Book Review

In addition to nonfiction.fr, there is another new French book review with an international focus: La Revue Internationale des Livres et des Idées. This one is not available on-line, however.

Municipal Elections

The pending municipal elections (March 2008) will be an important political test for both Sarkozy and the opposition. The left is in much better shape at the local level than at the national level. Voters may not trust Socialists to manage economic policy, but they do trust them to manage their city halls. This is where the next generation of politicians will define itself. Sarkozy seems to recognize the stakes, and he is pushing some of his inner circle, such as Elysée spokesman David Martinon and perhaps even justice minister Rachida Dati, to stand for local office. Perhaps he is wary as well of what happens to presidents when they surround themselves with a pretorian guard of trusted operatives, énarques, court jesters, and flatterers.

The parachutage of Martinon into Sarko's old mairie of Neuilly has not gone without hitches, however. Apparently there is a minor UMP fronde in the bling-bling Paris suburb. Although France2 broadcast images of the improbable anti-Martinon manif that broke out inside the town's ornate city hall after Sarko left the other night, TF1 refrained. To be sure, I have no idea how "authentic" this demonstration was or what might really be brewing in Neuilly. The municipals should be interesting to watch, but it's hard to have a feel for what's going on from here in Cambridge, Mass., so I encourage those of you who are closer to the scene to share your reports with the rest of us. Au peuple! That's what the Internet is for.

The I's Have It

Which politicians use the pronoun "I" most frequently? The linguist Jean Véronis has the answer.