France's Next Fight

During his first six months in office, French President Nicolas Sarkozy thrilled audiences at home and abroad with his kinetic vision for France. He stared down railworker unions, brokered a huge trade deal with China and generally signaled that he could redefine his country through sheer willpower alone. But as riots that broke out Nov. 25 north of Paris reminded us, the Sarkozy show isn't playing well with a crucial audience: residents of the banlieues, or France's impoverished suburbs.

The riots were brief but intense, featuring an unprecedented level of gun violence. And even as the fires died down, the underlying problems continued...

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