The Corner

Reviewer Reviewed

It seems that within a few hours of every TV appearance I make on behalf of Our Oldest Enemy, some nitwit posts a “customer review” on Amazon.com in which he expresses dismay that anybody would even think to criticize France. These “reviewers” aren’t always so honest as this one — who at least says he hasn’t read the book — but they are usually about this ignorant:

“I must admit outright that I have not read this book, but have watched an interview with the author about the book and his beliefs about France. Being a history major in college I am outraged at his dimissal of France as an enemy and his manipulations of the facts about history. It seems strange that France has been such an enemy over the years since we have never been to war against them…”

This is one thing people who don’t want to like my book love to say: We’ve never been to war with France. Well, that’s just not true. There was, for instance, the Quasi War — America’s first war following the ratification of the Constitution. Also, American GIs battled the soldiers of Vichy France in North Africa. And there were constant threats of war, during the Napoloenic era, during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, and during the Civil War period. I could go on and on and on about this. And if you want to learn about it, for crying out loud read the book!

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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