The New France

In a transformed Europe, the French contemplate their place, their problems and their purpose

If geography is destiny, the fate of France would assuredly seem blessed. A temperate climate and gentle, well-watered terrain have contrived down the ages to produce a civilization sans pareil. It is a culture abrim with connoisseurs of the good life and nature's bounty. Charles de Gaulle, father of the Fifth Republic, used to cite France's prodigious number of cheeses -- 265 by his reckoning -- as an example of the land's lavish variety. Some benighted souls across the Channel may still believe God is an Englishman, but the French have never doubted that heaven is their home.

So why all...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!